Kindness Matters

by | Jan 24, 2017


Where are the keys? They must be here somewhere. I drove to Starbucks between a meeting and my flight home. Clearly, I had the keys when I arrived. The Starbucks staff helped me search. No keys. “Maybe you left them in the car?” they offered. Maybe. It’s worth checking. That’s when I discovered there was no car. Stolen. With my luggage in the back. I realize I’m not the only one who’s had a car stolen before, but at that moment in time, it sure felt like it. I wished I’d seen this article on preventing theft before the car was taken; too late for me now, but it’s good for future reference and for me to help any readers out there who need it!

And so, it began…a journey that illustrates, once again, that kindness matters.

Starbucks manager. After searching the store, she watched the realization unfold that the car was stolen. She called the police and brought me a huge cup of “tranquility” tea and a glass of water. So kind.

TMobile staff. My phone cord was in the car. After a flurry of texts, emails and phone calls, the battery was dying. TMobile was next door, but there was a LONG line of customers waiting. I explained the situation to the staff. I needed that cord and I needed to stay at Starbucks to wait for the police. They added me to the list and sent me back to Starbucks. A bit later, they showed up at Starbucks with their mobile terminal to complete the sale. Nice.

Phoenix police. Admittedly, I waited for some time for my stolen vehicle to rise to the top of their priorities. When the officer arrived, he was calm, soft-spoken and patient. He asked questions, filled out reports and explained the process. He was sorry that he couldn’t take me to the rental agency. His kindness helped.

Uber driver. He searched and searched to find a pharmacy from which I could buy a tooth brush, tooth paste and comb. Over and over he said, “I’m so sorry this happened to you.” Sweet.

Enterprise manager. As it turns out, this was not the first time a rental car was stolen, but it was the first time for me. The manager calmly took down the information. He wasn’t upset or worried; just helpful. After more reports and more explanations, he brought me another car. He trusted me to not lose it this time.

I don’t have my luggage back and insurance paperwork looms, but I’m struck by how much kindness helped me navigate a difficult situation. I’m reminded of when a friend got car insurance by choosing to consider more here in terms of options, and they had a similar experience.

You have this opportunity every day. How can you show kindness to those you work with? Maybe you can pick up their copies off the copy machine and drop them by their desk; make a new pot of coffee when the last cup is gone; notice when someone seems down and offer concern; complement a job well done.

All these examples are small things. They take little energy and less time. And they make a big difference for those on the receiving end. Bonus: you feel good, too. It’s a win-win. Try it. Find three opportunities to offer kindness to someone today. Because, kindness matters.


  1. Katelyn

    Thank you for the reminder about kindness. Some days it is difficult to remember small acts of kindness go a long way. Especially right now with so much hate surrounding each of us.

    I too am sorry this happened to you. I hope you know that with each passage you write and each topic you present I feel that I learn and grow. Thank you for your blog. You are truly inspiring to me.

    Katelyn Vinklarek

  2. Emily

    Wow! So sorry to read about the turmoil you endured. I really enjoyed reading about all of the kindness you received during the pinch. It’s encouraging to read about ‘kindness’, maybe not ‘acts’ of kindness, but ‘kindness’. When I ask/demand (LOL) my children to behave, I attempt to not use the ‘act’ and instead ‘be’. I hope you retrieved your luggage and good-to-know that rental car swiping exists…I hadn’t a clue.


  3. James Welch

    Very good! I have had occasion to experience kindness several times in my life from people that didn’t even know me. They did not comment as to how they knew just how I felt or offer advice. They were just there for me to lean on and offer a sympathetic ear. Reach out to someone today and offer kijndness in whatever form it takes. Thanks Shelley.


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Author Byline: Founder and CEO of Blue Fjord Leaders, Shelley Row P.E. CSP, was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 100 leadership speakers. Professional engineer and former senior executive, she was recognized as one of the best minds in advanced traffic management systems.

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