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A Rash of Kindness

April 03, 20241 min read

I’m flying again after the Pandemic. I dread every trip. So I’ve talked myself into seeing if I can open myself up a little. I challenge myself to look for and see the beauty people bring with them, and to say something kind and blessing to them.

The last time I flew, it was a long trip home. Mechanical delays, late afternoon air traffic, snowstorms and who knows what else.

I walked into a candy store to buy a few (only 4) chocolate covered cherries, and the woman who waited on me had the most beautiful pattern in her braids. I complimented her on it, and asked if the pattern had meaning.

She was grateful for the compliment and asked what I meant. I responded that the people who came before her, who were enslaved, braided messages into their hair to help them escape and move towards freedom.

She dropped her head and I could see her struggling to keep her composure. She said she didn’t know of such a thing, and this was a pattern she saw her great grandmother braid into her grandmother’s hair and her grandmother into her mother’s. I stayed with her for a few minutes, and told her that the message for her personal freedom is seen, and that she is visible. She thanked me, and I thanked her. We hugged.

Even if all I had done was pay her a genuine compliment, it began a string of events that I can only call a rash of kindness. What might happen if we all focused on that rash?

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Elizabeth Power

Elizabeth Power, M. Ed., CEO of EPower & Associates, Inc. , is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and consultant. EPower & Associates is the parent organization for The Trauma Informed Academy(r). "All we do is help people with change, resilience and self-care, and learning to live trauma responsively. And everything is done from the trauma-informed perspective," she says. "Even courses directly about working with trauma are about change."

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