Shine: Kindness Changes Everything, by Patience Delgado

You’ve probably heard the phrase pay it forward. I would like to introduce you to a woman who is the embodiment of it. Patience Delgado’s mission is to spread kindness through small acts of generosity which she calls “guerrilla goodness.” Whether its sunflowers on a neighbor’s doorstep, leaving a sweet note in a library book for the next person, or a Starbucks gift card on a park bench, Patience knows the power of kindness.

Patience is exactly the kind of person I had in mind when I started Shine because she is an example of what is possible for every one of us. You don’t need to have a lot of money or a lot of time. You don’t need to make grand gestures or receive awards and accolades. All you have to do is one small act and you will be richly rewarded. I’m absolutely thrilled to have Patience, a.k.a. The Kindness Girl, on Shine today.

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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By: Patience Delgado

I was seven months pregnant with my fourth child, but it felt more like 15. It was a dark time in my life, our family was facing financial trouble, mental illness and job insecurity, all at the same time. I was desperate to connect to hope, so I went to the one thing I was sure of: Kindness.

I gathered five kids, three of my own and my niece and nephew and went to a local sunflower farm. The children took off their shoes and played in the dirt. I got lost in rows of flowers growing past my head. I clipped one at a time, soaking in all of their goodness until I had three buckets full. Yes, 50 flowers should be enough, although I would have happily picked all day long. My soul is rearranged by flowers and farms.

We went home and my niece and I carefully wrote messages and attached them to the bouquets. When she handed me hers, my heart sank.

It was exactly what I needed, and exactly what I was trying to find. So we took our giant bouquets and rode around the neighborhood. She would jump out, ring the doorbell, drop the flowers and run. I was the getaway driver, it was so wonderful.  We laughed, squealed, there was so much daring delight. It was that feeling that for even just a moment, I could be connected to a stranger by something good, even if we never met.

“So, it’s like ding-dong-ditchin’ but for good, not evil.” she said. I had never even heard the term or played the prank in my entire life, but I instantly loved it. I had built a small following on my blog (www.kindnessgirl.com) documenting my small acts of anonymous kindness that I called Guerrilla Goodness. The ding-dong-ditching day sort of changed everything for me, it was the day I realized how much I needed kindness and how deeply I was receiving by giving.  I was now so clearly aware that there is no selfless good deed, and yet the world needs it all, I needed it all.

The missions started to grow and so did my followers. It seemed there are lots of us out there wanting to believe in Kindness, to discover the power, to hold tightly to the idea that we all are connected. Chalking sidewalks with encouraging messages to kids on the first day of school, leaving Starbucks cards on bus benches, change in gumball machines, and hopeful post-it messages on bathroom mirrors, these playful activities gave way to kindness becoming a way of life for me. These small acts were no longer things we did, but who we are.

Somewhere along the way, Kindness took over my life and heart. In all the ways I am broken and whole, there is a place for me to find it, to offer it, to stand in it. I never would have guessed that a messy beautiful life could have brought me here, but I am so very glad it did.

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Patience lives with her partner Jorge in a state of dreamy chaos with her four kids and two dogs in Richmond,Virginia. When she isn’t off shooting a birth (www.patiencesalgado.com), she is probably hatching up her next Guerrilla Goodness (www.guerrillagoodness.com) mission or fumbling through a beautiful messy life over at Kindnessgirl.com.

 

Have you ever been the recipient of guerrilla goodness? Have you ever been inspired to perform a similar act of kindess? Please share in the comments below. Then read more about Patience in this month’s O, The Oprah Magazine

Coming up next on SHINE: Kathy McCullough and her partner Sara travel around the world providing disaster relief to places in desperate need, but nothing about this work is a sacrifice. 

If you or anyone you know should be featured in SHINE, please let me know: contact  {at}   jacquelincangro  DOT   com.

 

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21 comments

    1. I’m so glad, Carla!
      What I love about Patience’s m.o. is that kindness doesn’t have to be expensive or a chore. It just requires a little thinking outside the box.

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  1. I wrote a post on this subject a couple of months ago. When one does a little act of kindness the good feeling goes both ways – the giver also feels good.
    BTW I nominated you for another Versatile Bloggers Award today. Enjoy!

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    1. Why thank you so much for that mention! I’m honored you would include me in that illustrious group of bloggers. Thank you.

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    1. You never know how meaningful it can be to someone when you extend a moment of kindness. It might be just the thing they needed. And I believe that will come back to you over and over again.

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    1. I can’t wait Kathy! I am so thankful that you and Sara are able to be part of Shine. Thank you so much for participating!

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    1. Please keep me posted. I love to know how people end up incorporating Shine into their lives in small and big ways! You just gave me an idea…maybe I’ll start another section. 🙂

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