Youth Treats Elder with Kindness

When my son was about 13 or 14, we were standing at the end of the freezer aisle discussing what treats we wanted to buy that week–would it be ice cream? Pizza? Eggrolls? We both paused when we saw an older woman walk to the other end of the freezer aisle. We glanced at each other and I knew we were thinking the same thing “what a tiny woman and how frail she looks”.

We continued our chat and a few minutes later this tiny woman, who couldn’t have been more than about 4’8” tall, walked straight up to my strapping 6’ tall son, dressed in his most impressive semi-Goth black outfit. Without hesitation, she smiled and said “young man, could you…” and before she got the rest of the sentence out of her mouth, my son had started walking with her down the aisle to help her reach the item she needed from a top shelf.

Although he normally walked like his hair was on fire, taking huge steps to match his height, he walked very slowly, matching his pace to hers, bending down to talk to her as they walked. He helped her with her item and as they walked toward me I heard him ask “would you like help with the rest of your shopping? I’d be glad to do so.”. She declined graciously and then said to me, as the hair was prickling my arms “you have a wonderfully kind young man here” and continued on her way. I gave my son a big hug, touched by his gentle heart, only to hear him say “Mom, I’m surprised she wasn’t afraid of me, given how big and I and how I am dressed! I would think she would be scared of me. WOW, that was kewl!”

And who says the teenagers have all gone to hell in a handbasket!

~Jerilynne, Indianapolis, IN USA

Why Millions of Stories?

The event described in Youth Treats Elder with Kindness is the one that eventually led me to start the Million Stories of Kindness campaign. I was reminded that day of how we generalize and forget to look for, and focus on, the awesome world that is right in front of our eyes. I knew, with all my heart, there were millions of kids, around the world, living lives of love and kindness, not shooting up schools or terrorizing people with gang shootings and random acts of violence. And I wanted the world to see those acts, not just the “evil” youngsters.

Last summer the idea was thrown between my ears again. And I made a half-hearted stab at gathering some stories. However, I was so seriously ill that I simply couldn’t keep up the research, learning, and doing that a project like this takes. Turns out the Universe was patient and gave me time to heal from my serious illness and meet just the right people to support, guide, teach, and give technical advice at just the right time.

With the launch of this site and the help of many encouraging folks (talk about stories of kindness!), I am now honoring the idea that was given to me 6 years ago and, as a not-so-subtle reminder that I was delinquent, last year too!

I am once again in awe of what The Universe, the Source, whatever you wish to label it, can bring when I get crystal clear on what I want to do and what I am bringing into the world.

Blessings to each of you in your journey….

Jerilynne (Jer or Mama Red if you prefer)