A few months back my aunt told me she and my brother created the verb “to allison--being kind to people, particularly those we need something from.” Worried it sounded much like manipulation, I sheepishly asked for clarification. “To Allison not only makes us better people but it really works. It’s meant as a very big compliment.” I’ve been pondering this idea for sometime now and decided to not only own it but share it with you as well.
1. given name of Scottish and English origin meaning noble, kind
1. the quality or act of being kind, friendly, generous and considerate
“She allisoned her way through the crowd”
I don’t know about you, but compliments fuel my fire. They are the gas to my tank and milk to my cookie. I believe my family members were describing how I relate to people. Since this is who I am and the only way I know how to live, it always surprises me people find it so unique.
Still confused? Here’s an example of said behavior. I love recycling. So much so, my recycling bins usually overflow each and every week. During hot summer months I began leaving cold drinks as a thank you to the recycling people! Soon I noticed my empty recycling bins were returned to my house instead of left at the driveway end.
Living this way fills my heart with a warmth I feel spread throughout my body. It might sound a bit Disneyesque, but it’s my truth. I love knowing my mail carriers name so I can invite her to my annual Friendship Brunch. Knowing the names of the people at the gym makes going on those difficult days a bit easier. I thank those who are cleaning public bathrooms I use and buildings I enter. I attempt kindness with every 1-800 phone call I make not because I need something, but because it’s the only way for me. I suppose my life quote could be, “You get more bees with honey.” Except sometimes I'm not trying to "catch" anything. I'm just being me.
This past September I spent a week working in Warroad, Minnesota. Don’t know where it is? Don’t fault your Geography teacher. It’s a pretty remote community six miles from the Canadian border chock full of kind-hearted people. Warroad aka Hockeytown, USA is home to Marvin Windows and Doors and The Shed; the best antique car showroom in the world.
I spent three days with the staff and students of Warroad Elementary School. My job was to share my book writing experience, my life as an author and co-owning a publishing company. In truth, I shared the triumphs and tribulations of my life and how it created the me I am today. I shared stories of being bullied in second grade on the heels of winning first place in a writing contest. I spoke from my heart about my parents divorce, my complicated relationship with my father, challenges of being a mom, wife and daughter to aging parents. As I shared my raw and deep emotions I implored each person listening to perform kind deeds daily, smile at a stranger, write a letter to someone you love, befriend the new kid, hold the door for the person behind you. Do anything--just be kind
I share my story with students passionately because their generation is watching us. They quietly overhear our conversations, absorb the evening news, witness our actions all while forming their beliefs. Often times leaving them feeling overwhelmed and helpless. So, now is the time to tip the scales back to a world we can be proud of. Overflow our world with positivity, exercise the common courtesy of listening to our fellow human, keep negativity at a minimum and above all else, CHOOSE KINDNESS.
In hindsight, I suppose I taught students in Warroad how to "allison." To live their lives looking to make new friends, help old ones, and make our world a happier place one kind deed at a time.
Moral: Every single act of kindness, no matter how small, has a ripple effect. Let’s start a tsunami.
with kindness and hope,
A little thing you should know: To help spread kindness a little bit more, Inch by Inch Publications is kindly offering a 20% discount throughout November. All books will be signed and personalized and perfect for having on hand for gift giving (teacher, baby or holidays). A set of four books can be given as one gift or split up into many. Use code word: kindness at inchbyinchbooks.com