Always the Season for Kindness

By Saralyn Richard

Photo courtesy of Jasper Garratt and Unsplash Free Photos

When I was an English I teacher, I assigned my students a “Day of Kindness” paper, based on the Shirley Jackson short story, “One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts.” The resulting papers and speeches led to a powerful discussion of good and evil, and how doing good deeds made the world a better place, even for the giving party.

That same concept of good vs. evil is basic to most mystery novels, including the Detective Parrott mysteries. Parrott, like most real-life law enforcement officers I know, chose the profession because he wanted to seek truths, right wrongs, administer justice, and bring a measure of peace and closure to victims and their families.

Sometimes his is a thankless job. The person most grateful for Parrott’s solving a crime might be the deceased victim. But Parrott finds satisfaction in his role, whether he is turning up evidence to prove someone’s guilt or someone’s innocence. In either case, he is protecting the community.

Parrott can be tough when he needs to, but underneath it all, he’s a kind and caring human being. Over and over again, readers see the kindness and compassion he shows to his wife, his mother, his boss, and even his suspects.

Fortunately, we don’t have to be detectives to follow Parrott’s example. We can show kindness at this season, and in every season. Anyone who’d like some fresh ideas for acts of kindness to perform might check out this list.

If you’re inspired to do a good deed by this blogpost, I’ll ask you, as I asked my students, what did you do, whom did you help, what reaction did you receive, and how did the experience make you feel? I hope you agree—it’s always the season for kindness.

Saralyn Richard writes the Detective Parrott Mystery Series, two standalone mysteries, and a children’s book narrated by her Old English sheepdog, Nana. To learn more about her, click here.

17 replies
  1. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    Love the post, Saralyn. And I heartily agree that doing good feels as good or even better for the doer. It could be volunteering at a non-profit for a cause you believe in. And it can also be as simple as complimenting someone on a job well done, or even their shoes or haircut.

  2. Donnell Ann Bell
    Donnell Ann Bell says:

    Saralyn, like the others, I love this. It takes so little to be kind. But I should probably share a story where I had to rethink my actions. I was in a grumpy mood. I had been hit up by so many organizations I thought geeze if I gave to every single organization out there, I wouldn’t have any money at all. I set up this tale so you can experience my shame. I took my grumpy self to the grocery store and this woman was asking for donations to the humane society. I was quite frankly rude, and she said, “I’m so sorry you’re having a bad day.” I walked into the store, ready to kick myself for my behavior. I got cash back for my groceries and as I met her outside, I said, “My rudeness was uncalled for and slipped her a ten.” She gave me a humane society tote and we stood there and ended up laughing. Everyone’s fighting some kind of battle, and perception is everything. It takes so little to be kind. xo

    • Saralyn
      Saralyn says:

      You turned an impulsive unkind moment into a memorable kind moment. You and she are probably both still telling that story, and, as Shakespeare said, “All’s well that ends well.”

  3. Kathryn Lane
    Kathryn Lane says:

    It’s always the season for kindness – I love this!
    A smile, a thank you, a compliment – are little actions that can go a long way to make someone feel good. Too often people are so involved in their own issues that they forget to show kindness. A little act of kindness can bring them around! Or bring me around if I’m having a bad day! So often in life, it’s the little things that count a lot.

Comments are closed.