November thirteenth was World Kindness Day. Of all the strange and weird “national whatever” days that I keep hearing about, this one is worth not only celebrating but remembering. It’s something we’re super passionate about around here at Marmalead. In a world that can often seem unkind and divided, we need to remember just how important kindness is. Even though this post isn’t being delivered on November thirteenth, shouldn’t every day be an opportunity to remember to be extra kind? So this is our reminder to ourselves and you:)
The most wonderful time of the year
We’ve officially entered that magical and crazy time where we’re all running around like crazy, getting ready for the business that is the holidays. Thanksgiving has come and gone…maybe we spent time with our families and loved it! Maybe that family time was slightly less lovable. Either way, we’ve made it to the other side and as Etsy sellers, it’s time to gear up for the sales that are coming your way.
Everyone’s fighting a battle
Whether it’s dealing with crazy family members or less than stellar customers, deciding now how you want to deal with the people who will cross your path is important to do ahead of time. Especially if you’re stressed with filling orders, answering messages, and doing a million other everyday tasks.
Will you have grumpy and irritating customers? Definitely. Can you decide right now to not respond to someone who is being less than kind in the same way? Yes. Decide to be the MOST kind shop owner and throw kindness around like confetti!!! Honestly, you have no idea just how your response and kindness could literally change someone’s life.
Here’s your reminder and ours
I recently ran across the following story while perusing the rabbit hole that is Facebook. I don’t normally take the time to stop and read posts like these. But, for whatever reason, this one caught my attention and touched me with its beauty and honesty. As someone who works for a small business and who runs a freelance gig on the side, I was reminded just how much my interaction with everyone I come across is my choice. Every customer I have is a chance for me to practice being kind. And I want to choose kindness. Especially as I’m also entering a crazy busy time of year as well.
So here’s our reminder to be extra kind this season. No matter what. Let’s throw kindness around like confetti! After reading the story below, drop us a comment and let us know of any ideas you have for being kind in practical ways in your business and life! I personally can’t wait to hear what you have to say:)
“After learning my flight was detained 4 hours, I heard the announcement: If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic, please come to the gate immediately.
Gate 4-A was my own gate.
I went there.”
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress, just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
“Help,” said the flight service person.
“Talk to her.”
“What is her problem?”
“We told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she did this.”
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
“Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick, sho bit se-wee?”
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—she stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the following day.
I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up?
Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and would ride next to her—Southwest. She talked to him.
Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then.
Telling about her life.
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—and was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a sacrament.
The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California, the lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same powdered sugar.
And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice and lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands— had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves.
Such an old country traveling tradition.
Always carry a plant.
Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, this is the world I want to live in.
The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies.
I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost.
– Naomi Shihab Nye
When we actually take time to talk to each other and interact, we will realize that we’re all the same. We’re all pieces of the same puzzle. We’re all just people trying to get through this beautiful and crazy thing we call life.
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