A to Z Challenge: K is for Kindness


Kindness will get plenty of play today on Channel K of the A to Z Challenge Network.

cd-az-challengeIn the A to Z Challenge today, K is for Kindness. Roughly 37,000 bloggers will pick this word today, over gems such as Koozie, Keg, and Knuckles. That’s okay. Words on kindness are sort of like big floppy slices of cheese pizza. Is there really ever too much?

This post, though, will reveal a time kindness escaped me.

It’s not the first time and definitely won’t be the last.

There are lessons in failing, though. Mine equal roughly 37,000 textbooks. That’s not a coincidence. I’ve failed at kindness, in real life. This time, it was for an older man who sat in a car on the side of the road on an especially chilly Carolina morning.

By chilly, Carolina style, I mean in the teens.

Who is the kindness for, anyway?


I’d just dropped Elise off at school in heavy traffic. I caught a glimpse of this man’s face as I drove by. His eyes watered from the cold wind through an open car window. If he wasn’t scared, he at least was unsure. I hoped someone would help.

As I got to the next traffic light, I couldn’t see his car.

I don’t know if he got his car running again, or if someone stopped to help. Or if his car was just out of sight.

He stayed in my thoughts all day. What makes us act with kindness one moment, but bypass it the next? I trust someone stopped to check on this man. It’s not up to me – or you – to champion every wayward cause that crosses our paths. Kindness isn’t just rescuing those who need rescuing, after all.

Kindness ought to be so natural a component we don’t even recognize its presence – just its absence.

It’s not just for strangers and the lost. It’s for acquaintances for who a little encouragement could mean the world. It’s for those we love most, those we make feel loved and safe, to hear them when they speak, even when the words are hard to hear.

It’s putting your fear and feelings aside in moments like that to simply hold a hand and cherish a heart.

Kindness for a stranger? Noble, worthy, and the work of all of us. Kindness for those we love? Noble, worthy and the lifeblood of what makes love true. We know in our hearts they’d do the same, for us.

My friend Louise of Baby Gates Down inspired this post, too. Check out Ripples, Waves & My Compassion Lens to see how.



  1. mocadeaux says:

    Kindness – that really is what it’s all about, right? Still, like you, we all stumble sometimes and pass up the opportunity to exercise this most basic human gesture. Thanks for the reminder to always try to be better than that.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Kindness would cure a lot of ill, Mo. I want to also be aware of it when it comes to those closest to me.

  2. Tamara says:

    Koozie, Keg and Knuckles? I didn’t think of those. Not even close.

    Can you believe I didn’t even think of kindness? I’m so glad to have you as a friend covering kindness. Not on the A-Z challenge today – but in real life, every day.

    Not stopping for someone who has trouble with their car doesn’t make you unkind. You can’t save them all.

    Cute gingerbread couple, love the picture!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wonder if anyone will think of those, Tamara. What did you come up with? I could have gone with Compassion and spelled it Kompassion.

      I love that picture, too.

  3. What can I say, but I think kindness needs to win out more often and yet you are right we all do have our moments, but still is nice to know that it does still exist.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They all overlap, these concepts – and not least of all? Kindness to ourselves.

  4. Sandy Ramsey says:

    I can’t even tell you how much I love this. It would be nice as individuals to be able to stop for everyone and show that moment of kindness but I gree with you that it’s not always possible. I like to think that I spread my share of kindness in the world even if every once in a while I miss one or two.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you Sandy. We all ought to watch out for each other. I know your kindness has made its way to me and it’s forever appreciated.

  5. ksbeth says:

    yes, kindness is the way.

  6. Kim says:

    Just today I wrote about regretting things we don’t do – clearly not helping this guy made an impact on you since you still remember but you are a very kind person and like you said, we can’t be everyone’s hero!!!
    That said, the world could do with more kindness overall – this morning I came home from the grocery store and even though I smiled at others and was pleasant, not one person (employee or shopper) smiled back!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I need to read your post on this. I’m amazed every day at not only how many people don’t smile back – but how many won’t even make eye contact or acknowledge the presence of other humans around them.

  7. laurie27wsmith says:

    Nice post here today Mate, a little kindness goes a long way.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      almost as far as a pound of meanness, mate. Means we gotta work harder.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        But it trumps meanness hands down.

  8. tamaralikecamera says:

    I would have picked Koosh balls. Am I showing my age?
    We got a flat tire the other day. It was only my second one in my life. We found a parking lot of a tavern, luckily, and set to work with the tire. The kids thought it was cool and sat on my lap to watch. A lot of cars sped by us but only one stopped to help – a motorcyclist. Since this was the first nice day of 2015, you just know how excited he was to be on his motorcycle again.
    I give him a lot of credit!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re showing your age and mine – because I was a grown up for Koosh balls! (or at least an older teenager).

      “I sat on my laptop and watched.” That’s the best part of the story! Pictures and a post? Please?

  9. Louise says:

    What I said before on this still stands – don’t beat yourself up about one moment you wish, upon reflection, you’d done differently. Remember why you wish it had been different and try to apply, where practical, moving forward. But we all go in waves where we have more or less time or inclination (for whatever reason) to show compassion to others, and the lesser moments in isolation of the others really shouldn’t be how we measure ourselves overall.

    On balance, I figure I aim to be good; do good and treat others they way I’d want to be treated. I’ve failed many times. But I’ve also succeeded many times. It’s easy to focus on the first rather than the latter. Remember the first – but realize the moments you mattered, matter.

    Honoured by the letter tribute 🙂 Thanks!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you inspired the post! I’m definitely beyond beating myself up for it … and I realize that it’s not in the big acts that we make the most difference, it’s in the love and smaller acts that we do.

  10. So true. Sometimes I will go out of my way for kindness. Other days I shy away and face regrets. True. True. True.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Actually, I think the regrets are pretty important. I fear lots of people shy away from it and don’t regret. We’re human, we’re imperfect, but we should also be compassionate. You most definitely are.

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