In Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings, Gandalf reminds Bilbo that there is great power in little acts of kindness.
Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.
This truth regarding the power of kindness is as true in our world as it is in the make-belief world of Middle Earth.
A simple act of kindness generated viral attention in July, 2016 when a mother posted on Instagram praising a fellow mother whose children acted kindly towards her daughter. Stephanie Skaggs and her daughter Baylee, who has autism, went to Hurricane Bay water park at Kentucky Kingdom. Five year-old Baylee was standing in line waiting for her turn to go down the water slide and other kids cut in front of her. Two children at the front of the line, a brother and sister, saw what was going on and how it was upsetting Baylee and offered to let Baylee go in front of them to use the slide. Baylee’s mother was so touched by this kind gesture that she thanked both children and asked them to point her to their mother, whom she then thanked as well.
In her Facebook post Stephanie addressed this mother:
I made sure to let your kids know how nice it was for them to be kind and understanding, but I wanted YOU to know that you are raising two wonderful children. When I came to you and told you about my experience with your kids and told you that they were super kids and you are doing a great job, you said ‘I don’t know about that.’ Well, mom, you are. A small gesture like theirs may not seem like much. But I promise it was.
Stephanie didn’t expect her post to go viral, but it did, and within a few hours, it was seen by Laura, the other mother, who told her that her own kids Matthew and Grace were deeply moved by their interaction with Baylee.
Huffington Post picked up on this story and in their coverage, they shared a quote from Stephanie:
It means so much to me that Laura and her children can see the far reaching impact of their kind gestures that they thought were nothing really! My hopes are that this simple act of kindness will spread and inspire people to just be kind … not just to children or adults with special needs but that being kind to anyone can reach so many people in so many ways. It is definitely worth the effort!
Parents, the hard work you are doing to help your children grow in kindness and love is important. Even on days when it seems like you’re banging your head against a wall, be encouraged that your influence is benefiting your children. We can celebrate the small things because through stories like, we know that huge blessings can come from these small actions.
Have you or your children recently benefited from a small act of kindness from a stranger? If so, we’d love to hear your story. Leave us a comment – who knows, maybe your story will end up on the blog!