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Does Kindness Really Matter?

We can never truly know the impact or importance one small gesture of kindness can have on a person. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the pain and often seemingly unfixable things in our world today. Kindness can seem like an overly simplified answer to the world’s problems. How can we fix issues such as homelessness, addiction, poverty, and abuse that we witness daily through the news or while driving down our city streets? 

Let me share a story with you from one of our staff at The Upper Room Mission. 

It was a chilly fall morning, and I was walking quickly through the busy downtown streets of Calgary, trying to get to my class on time. The walk from our dorms to the classroom building was about six blocks, and the fastest way sent me past a well known convenience store directly beside a C-Train station. It was a part of the downtown core known well to both police and the community. As I walked towards the c-train station, a train had just stopped, letting out a mass of people heading to work, and the street was packed. 

As I followed the crowd’s direction, I noticed a homeless man standing in the middle of the sidewalk, asking everyone passing by if they had any spare change. No one made eye contact or even acknowledged his existence, and the few I saw responded with sighs of disgust or told him to get out of the way. As I got closer, I felt terrible for the man, but I didn’t have any change, so I decided the least I could do was acknowledge him with kindness. 

As I came closer, he looked at me and asked if I had any change. I made eye contact with him and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t have any.” And as I started to walk away, he said, “Thank you.” I was a little surprised and stood still for a moment, “I haven’t had anyone speak to me for days. Thank you for talking to me.” And he gave me a sad smile, as I went on my way to class. 

Every one of us can choose kindness, even in the smallest of moments. Can’t we all think of times in our lives when a small act of kindness has impacted us in a big way? Whether it’s a kind smile as we deal with one of our kids throwing a tantrum as we try to shop, a coffee someone has paid for while we go through the drive through, or a friend calling to check up on us when we’ve been going through a difficult time. It doesn’t matter how big or small the act is; kindness gives us back our hope and makes us smile when we weren’t expecting it, which leaves a lasting impact. 

How can you make an impact through kindness this week? Some ways you can support The Upper Room Mission are: 

  1. Consider volunteering with us! Share your kindness by helping us prepare meals for our guests, sorting clothes and donations, or volunteering at the Boutique Thrift.
  2. Donate your stuff! We are always looking for donations to our Boutique Thrift Store and anything on our critical needs list, which we update every season.
  3. Start a fundraiser! Have a birthday coming up? You can create a Facebook fundraiser asking for donations to a non-profit of your choice. The Upper Room Mission has been the recipient of birthday fundraisers in the past, and we are always so thankful that you chose us on your special day.
  4. Connect us to your network! Please share our posts and help us spread the word about our work in the city of Vernon. We would love to be more connected and build our network of kind people and businesses in the community!

Remember to appreciate the impact that sharing even the smallest acts of kindness will bring to the lives of those you encounter daily. Our lives are made up of small moments of opportunity, and saying yes to kindness can truly change a day or a life for someone who was really in need of a little hope in their lives. And it just might impact your life as well. 

To learn more about the work of The Upper Room Mission click below.

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