Acts of Tenderness

This week I’ve heard from many of my friends, readers, and fellow bloggers that we are all at a loss for words right now. I feel the same way, which makes it particularly difficult to write and publish a new blog post. Writing has a way of forcing you to be present so here I am, showing up, messy and broken and beautiful.
 
Last night I watched a new show called Kevin Can Probably Save the World. Usually I don’t watch live TV but I caught the show before it, was still sitting on the couch, and Jason Ritter’s adorable face appeared on the screen. In general I dislike shows that have invisible or guardian angel type characters, which this show does. No matter how likable the actors are or how good the writing is, the concept is never not cheesy. This show was no exception but I watched it anyway.
 
After making it through the full hour episode I walked away feeling torn. I liked the characters and actors just fine but I don’t think I can get past the “a meteor turned into a guardian angel” plot that the show depends on. However, I did take away two messages we all might need to hear today.
 

The People In Your Life Need You

When I think about the amount of people hurting in the world right now I start to shut down. It’s too much for one person to take on alone. But when I zoom in and look at my small piece of the world, hurt becomes much more manageable and healing seems possible. We can start to heal the world one person at a time.
 
Chances are there is someone in your life right now who needs you. You don’t need to be a guardian angel who stop trucks with your hands, you just need to be you. Look closely. Maybe your parent needs a hug or your friend needs a listening ear or your teenager simply needs someone to watch TV with. We are all hurting and we need each other today. We are not alone.
 

Acts of Tenderness Can Save Someone’s World

We can impact people’s lives in huge ways with small gestures. An act of kindness, like buying someone a coffee, can go a long way to improve someone’s day but I think an act of tenderness is even better.
 
Several years ago I was going through a particularly sad and lonely time. I had recently adopted my dog, who was then a young, fluffy, energetic, adorable bundle of curiosity and fun. We were walking slowly on a trail next to a local lake, one of us determinedly sniffing the ground, the other staring despondently at the water. Suddenly, a little girl with curly, blonde, pig tails appeared before me. She cooed over my puppy for a few seconds then ran back to her Mom who was standing a few dozen feet away. Later, as my walk came to a close, I looked up to see the little girl charging towards me shouting at a volume only small children can reach, “Wait! Wait! I drew you a butterfly!” She thrust a piece of paper in my hand and ran off again. I looked down to see a pencil drawn sketch of a lopsided and lumpy butterfly.
 
I walked back to my car and cried at the earnestness of the little girl and the tenderness of her gesture. I still have that butterfly drawing tucked into the visor in my car. It reminds me how an act of tenderness can be so powerful. In that moment when I needed saving, a little girl showed me love and gave me hope just by being who she is and sharing herself with a stranger.
 
We might not know what to say today and that’s okay. If we can show up for each other and be tender with each other maybe we don’t need words. Words aren’t always remembered but presence is. And butterflies. Never forget the butterflies.
 

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Beth

Small acts of kindness make a huge difference! I’m trying to pay it forward that way as much as possible.

Divya

What a beautifully written post. Thank you for your words today. I definitely needed to read them.

Penny Struebig

Well said. You never know what someone else is going through and a small act of kindness could really save them.

justine

you’re absolutely right! small acts that don’t take a lot of effort or money can totally brighten someones day. a “hello” or paying for the meal behind you in the drive thru always makes my day!

Anthea

An act of kindness or tenderness as you called it can go a very long way.
We have no idea what people around us are going through and what a difference a kind word or act can make.
Lovely post.

Erinn

I love this post! Small acts of kindness are such an easy way to make a positive impact on someone.

Judy
Judy

Love butterflies – a sign of new life!

Maggie

You always have the wisest words in the face of all the overwhelming mess of the world. <3