What was your last random act of kindness?

“It’s true that when I witness a random act of kindness, I smile, no matter how upset or sorrowful I happen to be at the time. It is so much more than it appears to be. It’s like there is a place deep inside where we hold this sack of kindness and when it is needed, we reach in, pull it out, and make someone’s life better. Not only the person we extend the kindness to but anyone who happens to see it and it makes us happier, too. How could I not feel better giving someone else a bit of joy?” Lisa was talking with Trish whose grandmother lives in the retirement community where Lisa is a food server.

Trish has been concerned about her grandmother being in quarantine when she was used to their big family gatherings. Lisa reassured her by explaining part of what she does on a daily basis. All of us food servers have made the effort to get to know those we serve on a personal level so we can ask ‘How is your granddaughter Trish doing?’ Laughing at the example she used, she continued to reassure Trish that there was no need for concern.

“In our community, all staff has attended the Kind Dining♥ training program that showed us what a difference we make by reaching out in a personal way, doing random acts of kindness, and being in the present moment with the seniors we serve. It is part of our job and it comes naturally, after some practicing following our training, and later in our discussion meetings. I’ve come to know the seniors in my sections of service really well. They have become a little like grandparents to me. By the way, that fills a spot in me because my grandparents have all passed away. So, it’s truly a give-and-take situation. Mealtimes have always been a social time for the residents. I like to think that we keep it social in our own way. We are there to bring their meals, to listen, and to help in any way we can. Yet, it is so much more than just bringing in a tray of food or delivering packaged meals that can be eaten right away or reheated later. Between meals, we also visit with snack carts. So, you see Trish, we share time with our seniors several times a day. I think our time (and training) makes a positive difference in our community.”

B♥ Kind ®Tip: Food servers have many opportunities to perform random acts of kindness.

About Cindy Heilman

Cindy is the founder and owner of Kind Dining®, which she began in 2006. She’s traveled across the country and Canada working with and training senior living communities that want to create an exceptional dining experience for their residents and staff. In addition, she certifies select professionals in her Kind Dining® philosophy and provides tools, now in an eLearning format, that make learning stick and help people put insights into action. As a result of her work, clients often share their staff has a new sense of purpose, get along better and keep their focus and energy on what matters most. In fact, she wrote a book, Hospitality for Boomers on how to attract residents and keep good team members. In her free time, she enjoys walking Oregon trails and cheering on her favorite soccer teams, the Portland Thorns and Timbers.

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