I had a brush with meanness not long ago. Words not directed at me or even in my general direction, meanness nonetheless. The victim of this meanness will, I pray, never know of it. Meanness is like that at times, cowardly and hidden, whispering from the shadows & tearing down by ragged inches. Meanness seeks to build up its source at all costs. One would think meanness more likely to strike clean and lethal at the target...but no, too neat, too quick, too much risk.
Meanness is a real life monster. Kindness is just as real, and just as contagious.
I also had quite a brush with kindness not long ago. Deeds not directed at me or even in my general direction but kindness rippled my way and splashed at my toes. The recipient of this kindness will not know all about its sources because kindness is quiet and graceful, building up and fortifying, shining warmth into cold crannies. Kindness doesn't desire credit or applause, kindness needs only to be received by its object.
Tonight I was the direct object of kindness. It walked up to the door, opened it, and placed in my hands a basket full of hot buttered rolls.
"You said earlier that you were having soup for dinner tonight," Kindness said softly, "I thought you might enjoy these with it."
She'd made an extra trip. She has her own family to feed. She had had a long day too. She turned on her oven for me! Kindness in a basket, tucked under a linen napkin to stay warm. Kindness quietly expressed is kindness loudly observed and deeply appreciated.