It's no secret I'm a Ben Rector fan. More than one of his songs has inspired a blog post. One of his song lyrics has been used on a greeting card. I've photographed a couple of his concerts in the past (1 + 2). The man just knows how to write a killer song, put on a great show and sing his ass off.
The first time Jenny + I saw him live was way back in 2011 at the Beaumont club. I remember he quieted the crowd and asked if he could play a new song. He then played Forever Like That, and I remember dancing with Jenny near the back of the club. I closed my eyes and it felt like it was just the two of us, Ben + his guitar singing a sweet little love song. The whole world slowed down for those few minutes. That will forever be one of the greatest moments at any concert I've ever been to.
This past Saturday, Ben Rector was playing at the Uptown Theater. Jenny + I had talked about going, but decided we didn't have the money to spend on concert tickets right now, so I never got tickets. Last Wednesday, something told me we had to go. So I decided to try and surprise Jenny with 2 tickets. But the show was sold out, and the cheapest tickets on Stubhub were around $60 a piece. Can't do that. I did what anyone upset about something silly like this would do and posted about it on facebook.
That's when a friend went out of her way, contacted someone she knew at the Uptown and got us 2 tickets. Unexpected kindness. I kept it a secret to Jenny right up until the point on Saturday night when she started to get upset thinking I went ahead and bought overpriced tickets on Stubhub. We had a blast singing our hearts out and dancing together. And, yes, he did play Forever Like That, and it was still magical.
I share this story because it got me thinking about all the different ways we can impact another's life. I sometimes get caught up in wanting to do big things for others...and I let the fact I don't have a lot of expendable income right now stop me and get me frustrated into not acting at all.
But unexpected kindness doesn't always have to cost a lot of money. Write a note on a piece of paper and leave it somewhere. Give compliments every time you think of one...seriously, how many times do you think something nice about someone but keep your mouth shut? Buy someone's cup of coffee. Grab a sharpie and a rock and write some encouragement on it for someone to find. Smile more. Hold doors open. Help someone load their car at the grocery store. Make a piece of art for someone. Turn your phone off or leave it in the car and give a listening ear.
The point is...unexpected kindness takes a little bit of effort but has maximum impact. It took my friend sending a simple message and Jenny + I had an unforgettable evening, no cost to her but a few minutes of her time. There are SO many ways we can impact other folks' lives like that.
The best part, at least to me, is that you might not ever know how your actions or words affected someone else. Think about a time when someone unexpectedly gave you some kindness. How did it affect your day? How did you feel inside? Did you pass it on to someone else? Wouldn't it be great if we all spent a few minutes a day and did something kind for someone else, just because the world can always use more kindness? Think about all the little ripples of positive energy we'd be sending out into the world.
I'd love to hear some ways you've incorporated unexpected kindness into your lives...