Counselor's Corner: Acts of kindness


Fred Cavaiani

I just returned from the Secretary of State’s office on Monday afternoon to get a handicapped sticker. Because of a fall I took, I need to use a cane for a couple of months.  The place was so busy, I thought my wait would be quite long. There were no seats available. As I walked in, one of the workers told me to go sit down and she would be right with me because I was there for a handicapped sticker. As I, with my cane, walked over to where she told me, there were no chairs. A man who had been sitting quickly got up and gave me his chair. Then a few minutes later he reminded the service lady that I was still there and she had told me that I would be next. What a kind man. He gave up his chair for me and then spoke up for me. After I had been sitting for awhile, I told him he could now sit for awhile but he wanted me to still have his seat. Such kindness. It increased my faith in love and in the goodness of people. I was in the Secretary of State’s office for only twenty minutes, which is a miracle in these busy days. This man took good care of me and he was waiting also.

A simple act of kindness can have such a positive effect on people. It sends out love into the world. It sends out a positive attitude and restores faith in human nature. I will not forget this simple gesture of kindness.

At a time when we are in pain and someone treats us in a specific, kind manner, it propels us into a deeper experience of goodness and hope. A smile, a handshake, a helping gesture, and a kind and gentle word creates a positive energy. For a few minutes I experienced such an altruistic act coming towards me.

On this same day, we had a new chair delivered to our home. It was one of those chairs that are very helpful to someone who might have a difficult time getting out of a chair. The two young deliverymen from Art Van were so kind and helpful and noticed that something was wrong with the chair. It needed some wires fixed. So, it will be fixed. But I would never have noticed this, until I went to use it. Again, another act of kindness and responsibility for the welfare of others.

Every act of kindness helps change the world and our own particular world into a more loving environment. It is something we can all do. It is really the purpose of life.

When leaders act kindly, everyone benefits. When each of us makes the effort to be concretely kind toward others in our actions and words, amazing, positive changes begin to happen.

This past Monday I was reminded by a very kind man what life is really about. It is always about being loving and kind to others. I can write about this, which I often do. But the real effect is having someone show me what an act of kindness looks like. There are so many acts of kindness that happen to all of us each day. It is important to show gratitude for the kindness and love that are shown to us. I thanked this man and told him what a kind and loving person he was. I think he made my day and I hope I made his day. We expressed kindness to each other. The greatest compliment is to have someone say: “She is such a kind person”. or “He is such a kind person.”

This past Monday, I was quite inspired to work on being kinder and more loving to other people.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other week. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is