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Patricia C Behnke

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Member Since: Before 2003

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Acts of Kindness
By Patricia C Behnke
Friday, February 25, 2005

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Patricia C Behnke
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We do not always know how those little acts of kindness have left an imprint on those around us.

We forget in the every day bustle of our lives to remember the little things we do are often the ones that remain unforgettable.

Sometimes little acts of kindness can become giant deeds to the recipient and can make all the difference in the world. And we may not even have realized what we have done.

When I was eighteen I decided I knew everything there was to know in the world and graduated from high school with a brick, not a chip, on my shoulder and a mental block the size of a cement block.

By the time of my graduation open house, I think my mother had actually stopped speaking to me. I had rented an apartment in Ann Arbor, 30 miles from my parents, and had gotten a job as a clerk typist for a large corporation. Now in my mother’s world a daughter didn’t do this kind of thing. I was supposed to live at home and work or go to college and receive my Mrs. Degree.

But I had no use for college or for anyone’s advice and believe me, when I’d made up my mind on something, my family had learned in a mere 18 years, to leave me alone.

Enter my high school government teacher. He was the only one who took a few moments to try and talk to me.

“You’re far too smart to not go to college,” he told me at my open house. He had practically pushed me into a chair in my parents’ living room and he sat on the ottoman at my feet. “You’ll not be happy as a clerk typist.”

He refused to let me protest and tell how worldly I was having grown up in a town with a population of 1,200. I still lived across the street from the old hospital where I had been born.

Because he took those few moments with me, I began to reevaluate. I kept remembering his words. They weren’t a command or a question, but a statement. And because he had bothered with me at all, I began to open my mind to other possibilities. By the following January I was enrolled in college and within 4 years was back substitute teaching at my alma mater.

And my mother was speaking to me again.

When my mother contracted double pneumonia four years ago, I wasn’t sure when I should go back to Michigan. She had a 50/50 chance for survival and my brothers and sister-in-laws didn’t know what to tell me.

One of my sister-in-laws went to the doctor and said, “Her daughter is in Florida. When do we tell her to come?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Now.”

I arrived within 24 hours with my mother still trying to pull out of it and still conscious. She nearly pulled the IV out of her arm reaching for me when I walked into her room.

I never thanked that doctor for his act of kindness. He probably has no idea what it meant to me to arrive at my mother’s bedside while she still knew I was there.

I never thanked my government teacher either. And I don’t know how to reach him now.

But I can thank the friend who took the time this weekend to listen to me and offer advice. It only took a few minutes of his time, and he probably doesn’t even know how important it was to me, but it provided me with a lifeline. He knows who he is, and I appreciate his kindness.

Those acts of kindness need not be with someone we know. A simple smile, a grateful word, a slowing of our pace to let someone else go first in line at the grocery store. We probably do many of these things unconsciously, but try to consciously help someone and the benefits are tremendous.

Not only does the recipient benefit from those precious few moments, but also we can leave our own lives for a moment and think of someone else for a change.

It’s better than aspirin as a reliever of pain.




 

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Reviewed by Mary Lynn Plaisance 4/28/2007
Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. I have believed since I was in high school, that what I send out comes back to me. If I want kindness, love, respect.... I must send out the same.

My religion is kindness, and I say thank you every day.

Your story is very touching to me. I wish you much peace.
Love,
Mary Lynn Plaisance~
Reviewed by Cynth'ya cynthyaspeaks@gmail.com 4/26/2007
Now faith is the substance of things not seen, evidence of things not yet heard. . . .love that word NOW, and glad to share this message with others Sis. Patricia. God bless you, keep on doing little kindnesses and writing wonderful thoughts like this. Amen to NOW!

blessin's,
cynth'ya lewis reed
Reviewed by Jessica Lark 4/24/2007
A touching story with an important message Patricia. As Nancy says, the world would be a much better place if we all took the time to do someone a kindness each day.
All the best
Jessica.
Reviewed by LadyJtalks LadyJzTalkZone 4/24/2007
Very well said. Many little acts of kindness can change a world. Lady J
Reviewed by Nancy Shrader 4/24/2007
If only everyone would do one act of kindness each day;what a wonderful world this would be. Acts of Kindness is like a boomerang; it always comes back. Very good Patricia.
Reviewed by Todd-Michael St. Pierre 4/24/2007
OH Wow... truer words have not been written, life has taught me this lesson again and again, and you feel so much better when you step outside of yourself and do for others! I think I have finally matured enough (it took a long time) to accept that people are who they are and that it isn't my job to make them agree with me or to withhold my love because they don't share my view. I love this story... thank you Patricia... for the inspiration & reaffirming message/truth!
Reviewed by Sasia Gregory 4/24/2007
Patricia, I agree with you 100 percent about even little acts of kindness. There are so many people that I wish I knew how to contact that I'd like to thank for making even small impressions in my life. I have had a hard life and regardless I still find the time to reach out and do even little things for others no matter how bad my day goes. It always makes me feel better because I feel like I've pleased God in some way. I had even written a poem many years ago about how simple acts of kindness can affect people. I called it INFLUENCE

If you drop a pebble in the water
And it's ripples reach out far
The moonbeams dancing on them
May reflect them to a star

If you give a smile to someone passing
It may make their morning glad
And it may great you in the evening
When your own heart may be sad

So like the pebble in the water
When it's ripples reach out far
We must be careful of our friendships
We must know who our real friends are

Are they like wolves are to a sheep?
Are they like hunters are to rabbits?
Remember 1 Corinthians 15:33
Bad association spoils useful habits

Like a body without spirit
Faith without works is dead
Do no let your hand rest
That's what wise King Solomon said

So we must continue reaching
Yes the reaching must go on
Because we never know
Who it might have influence on

So do a deed of simple kindness
Although it's end you may not see
It can reach like widening ripples
Down a long eternity
Reviewed by Maura Clegg 4/24/2007
This story is not only wonderfully written, but the message it gives us is one that we should live with every day. You don't know how many people you influence in a single day, and by showing one single act of kindness you can change a whole life.

Thank you Patricia for writing such a wonderful and timely article.

Maura Clegg
Reviewed by Miranda Mayer 4/24/2007
I've been sitting back and evaluating the moments in my life when one person made the difference for me. Perhaps I didn't have people intervene at all the best times; but there are one or two souls I can think of who took the time to stoop in front of me as a child, and look to me eye-to-eye, and make an impression that would remain with me until this day.

-A fifth grade teacher; who showed me how to write, and opened the world of writing and creativity to me.

-An older woman with agoraphobia and the sweetest heart in the world helping me through my darkest times.

-The random people who I run into every day who give me reason to believe that pretty much everyone is inherently good.

-My sister.

These people have shaped me. They've made me understand that kindness can be the thing that binds us together.

Thank you for the lovely article, and thank you Richard for pointing me to it. :)
Reviewed by Kathryn Carrington 4/24/2007
Hi Patricia and thanks so much for your e:mail. I'm always receptive to new and smiling faces. I love your photo, referencing the water; It is my weakness so I am always on my friends boat. "Acts of Kindness" is a wonderfully told, true life story that should not go unnoticed. There is a significance in self-expression, as you have shown in your own act of kindness, by sharing such a wonderful story of thought. Just a words come to life, I believe that acts of kindness do, as well.

Many blessings to you.
Reviewed by Denise Contreras 4/24/2007
beautiful words so Spiritual Kindness is healing not just to those who were kind to but it is healing to our Souls thanks for this beautiful write. Hugs to you
Angela
Reviewed by Debby & Gordon Rosenberg 4/23/2007
Hi Patricia, these are wise words. Often forgotten in a world where hurry is often the state of mind. In the briefiest of moments as you've reminded us here, a simple act of kindness can completely transform the mindset of another. Thank you.
Reviewed by Richard Orey 4/23/2007
My dear Patricia,

We really must do something about getting the word out about you. You've been a member of AD since "before 2003," and this article was posted over two years ago, yet I'm only the third person to pause to read your message and to leave a review.

First things first:
Acts of Kindness is thoughtful, well organized and well written. It delivers a powerful message for all of us.

I want to build on what you suggest and invite everyone to do this act: Visit a nursing home and take the time to visit with someone who is sitting alone in a room waiting for an old friend or a relative to stop by, even though they know it has been so long ago that someone visited that they've given up hope.

The person at the front desk will know who to guide you to. You don't have to know that person. Just take them a flower and tell them that God asked you stop by and say hello. Then share with them something of yourself. Read them one or more of your poems. Wish them a happy day and ask if you can come back again sometime to visit.

That, my friends, is an act of kindness that takes a little doing on your part but, O, the reward is so much bigger! That old, lonely person will be forever greatful, and you'll feel so good inside!

And when your time comes to meet God face-to-face and He asks what you did in your time on earth to justify His gift to you of life, you tell Him you heard his message that He wanted you to visit that special person in the nursing home. And you did!

And you know what? God may well have placed that person in that home on that day, just to give you a training ground for the bigger plans He has for you now that you are going His way.

Patricia, thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful and meaningful article. If for nothing else, it triggered me to climb up on my soap box, which I am wont to do.

And now that I have done what God asked me to do, let's see if we have any visitors wanting to review your work or just leave their name and that they were here. God works one person at a time. Don't keep score. Just watch Him at work!

My love and best wishes to you,
Richard
Reviewed by Darlene Myers 8/25/2006
These are words to live by. Even an unconscious act of kindness can be the one thing to give someone hope instead of despair. Thanks for reminding us.

Dar
Reviewed by Roger Carr 7/21/2006
We don't usually realize the impact we can have on a person in just a few minutes of time. The examples weaved into the theme of "Acts of Kindness" were great and are similar to examples most anyone has experienced at some point in life.

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