Kindness: Give Magic and Get Magic in Return

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Sometimes in life you may notice things if you are a noticer! Often, messages are put in front of us many times before we take note of them. I guess the opportunity is there for all of us is to pay attention to the messages that are being sent.

Recently, I have been observing a lot of examples of human kindness. Perhaps they are always around in abundance but for me, they have truly been front and center during the past few weeks. I have observed big acts of kindness and little acts of kindness. I have received some and I have delivered some and with each observation I have observed an increase of energy, happiness and recognition.

At a recent conference, a young man named Mike was asked by Shelley MacDougall to come up and tell a story that started with his confession that often he has been guilty of not paying attention. He said that when you have your headphones on and the people around you don’t seem important to you, it is possible to miss a lot. After hearing some speakers at the conference, he decided to go out and pay attention.

He decided to go to a nice restaurant for dinner and as he approached the restaurant a homeless man asked him if he could spare a quarter. I might add that this was in a northern Canadian city where the temperatures had been colder that minus 30 for 5 straight weeks. Mike told the man that he was worth a lot more than 25 cents. He asked him if he would consider having dinner with him. The man accepted but was reluctant when the restaurant would not let him bring the shopping cart with his worldly possessions in with him. When they agreed that they would keep an eye on it for him he felt comfortable in joining Mike for a meal. Mike asked him what he would like for dinner and he said a piece of garlic toast. The restaurant didn’t have that on the menu but gave him a hamburger bun with some butter with garlic in it. Mike observed that he ate the bun with more butter on it than he had ever seen someone eat. Although the man who Mike came to know as Jimmy thought that was dinner, Mike convinced him to have more. He had a salad, a steak, and some fries. When asked if he would like anything else Jimmy asked if he could have a glass of milk.

Mike spent an hour and a half with a man that was more than twice his age. He learned that the man learned to live on the streets and fend for himself when he was 12 years old. He got married and had a family, but he lost everything and was now a 62-year-old man who had been on the streets for 19 years. He confided in Mike that the meal he was just given was the first one he had in three days.

After dinner when Jimmy had his cart again, he asked Mike if he would like to see his home. Mike reported that Jimmy took to a place between two industrial trash containers – Jimmy’s place in the world.

Mike (who is 29 years old) finished his story by asking the people in the audience to focus on gratitude, humanness, and embracing the moment. The audience who was there to see Shelley speak gave Mike a standing ovation.

Maybe it was because he had done something that few would have the courage to do. Maybe it was because they were truly inspired by this act of kindness. Maybe it was because he made them all feel so grateful, in touch with the human condition and his ability to be in the moment.

Because of telling this story, Mike has been the recipient of kindness. People have given him kind words of appreciation. People have donated to Mike’s favorite charity. People have shared his story. He has an increased desire to show kindness and pay attention to the kindness he receives.

Someone introduced me to a show on Netflix called “The Kindness Diaries”. I have watched 6 episodes and I am enjoying the kindness journey around the world.

If you have ever heard me make a presentation you will know that I often talk about the power of our words. I reference Don Miguel Ruiz and the Four Agreements which suggests that our words can be magic or poison.

If we give poison, we tend to get poison in return. If we give magic we tend to get magic in return. If this is true with our words it is also true with our actions.

I don’t believe that Mike did this act of kindness to get something in return, but I am sure he would tell you that what he got back was ten times what he gave.

What would it be like if our clubs, our marriages, our families, our communities, and our society simply had an increase of paying attention and kindness?

KevinA good way to find out is to start, continue or expand the level of kindness that you deliver. When will you be able to deliver some kindness? How many acts of kindness will you deliver today?

It doesn’t have to be big. It could be a smile, a greeting or a thank you!

May you be the recipient and deliverer of great kindness!

Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. To connect with them please call toll free 1-866-822-3481 or e-mail or

Posted by Karen Woodie at 03/26/2019 02:29:26 PM | 

Great post, Kevin! Many of us spend too much time "doing" to instead truly be in the moment and realize our words and deeds have power...even when we don't think so. 30 plus years in and I have boiled it all down to "Be Nice"....sounds simple but we all need a reminder from time to time and this post was mine for the day. Thank you!
Posted by: CMAA Member ( Email ) at 4/12/2019 11:42 AM