by Natalie Smarro
Kindness is doing what you can, where you are, with what you have.
For more than 20 years I intentionally chose professions that allowed me to be of service and offer kindness. The first half of those years I was fortunate to work for a generous businessman who always provided a supportive ‘YES!’ to the ideas I offered regarding ways we could financially bless the thousands of families we worked with.
When I left that company to go into business for myself, I knew I was giving up the unique position to give so freely financially. My limited resources made me feel like what I had to offer was quite insufficient to the needs I wanted to support. What I did have through my business was access to people. Alone I was not able to offer very much but through partnering with hundreds of patrons, together we offered more than 100 donations to deserving causes & people in need.
Months before the pandemic, I followed the whispers of a higher inner wisdom and sold my business with the intention to be a full-time homeschooling parent to my teenage son. This lifestyle change meant that I no longer had any financial resources to offer, and I lost access to a community to partner with. Then as the world completely shut down, I quickly became discouraged. It seemed that my intentions to be of service and offer kindness could not be expressed.
That discouraged state led me to question the changes I had made in my life, so I turned inward and asked my Inner Guidance for direction. Maybe I had misunderstood the calling on my life and the life of my son. God had been able to reach so many through me in the past that I could not understand how being so isolated without resources & community could possibly serve a higher purpose. When I called out in frustration about my circumstances I heard back, “Give to those I have given to you.”
I’m an obedient follower and so I kept my heart and mind open to those that were given to me. In those early days I was surprised how much the 3 people in my home needed my service and acts of love & kindness. It was as if all my years of experience in service & kindness were preparing me for a time when those I love most intimate
As our family unit strengthened and surprisingly began to truly thrive, we noticed our friends, extended family, and neighbors were all struggling. Every time a loved one or situation came to my attention I would ask my Inner Guidance, “how can I give to who you’ve just given to me?” 100% of the time a simple gesture of kindness and love was the answer. Dropping off home made soup, writing a love note, creating a fun scavenger hunt in a yard, offering to take a walk, gifting a piece of chocolate, sending an encouraging song, gifting free wildflowers from the side of the road. The list of simple (and super inexpensive) expressions of love & kindness is now in the hundreds. What started in my immediate home, grew to include my friends & family, and eventually expanded to include strangers who cross my path.
Since God told me to “give to those I have given to you’”, I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t had an opportunity to be of service and offer kindness. I look back with deep appreciation for the years I was able to give generously through my first job. I am filled with gratitude for the hundreds of thoughtful people I partnered with for a shared purpose in my second career. My third chapter is when service and kindness became a vocation. Learning to ask for guidance when someone is placed in my life with a need has helped to cultivate a more thoughtful and intentional approach to offering kindness and it is by far the most fulfilling. I’m excited to come together with others at Unity to express love & kindness in simple and heartwarming ways.