It's no secret I have one of the best fathers in the world.  This isn't an exaggeration either.  He's kind, thoughtful, generous, loving and so much more.  His default is to see the goodness in others.  He's not judgmental or distrusting.  He always thinks people have a pure and innocent heart until proven otherwise.  He wants the best for his family and others.  He will do anything for someone who asks for help.  He's the epitome of a southern gentleman.

He taught me how to both love and talk to people.  I'm sure that's where my gift of gab came from.   I wish I had a bit more of his trusting abilities though.  I'm a bit more hard core.  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, until that trust has been broken.  Then the older I get, the easier it becomes to walk away.

It has been in the very recent past that I said to my mom that a dear friend has a kind and trusting heart.  The more this comment bounces around in my head, the more I realize that the extreme gravitational pull I feel to her is because of this.   She's so much like my father.  Her kindness knows no boundaries.  I've seen it over and over and not just as it relates to me. She’s especially good to others when she feels you've returned her kindness.

She's a happy, loving person.  Her heart is filled with joy and encouragement.  She wants others to succeed and she provides support along the way. If you've ever met Audrey Carlan, you know all of these things to be true.

In a world where there are people who will do anything to be on top, where money seems to be the driving force behind so much, we forget that some days being kind is all it takes.  A "good job" or "thank you" gets us so much more than "well, you should have..." or, "I just can't understand..."  Sometimes you have to remember, it really isn't all about you, or me, or whoever is typing that email, or dialing that telephone number.  It’s remembering the person on the receiving end has feelings too.  If it's business, then it's business.  But business arrangements should include communication, not bullying or large amounts of hurt feelings between either party.

Maybe that's why my father was a good businessman.  He thought everyone was doing right.  He wasn't looking for the negatives in life, and as a result, when it ended the positives usually outweighed the negatives.

Now more than ever, I'm both grateful and thankful for the years I spent stocking shelves, meeting customers and working a cash register.  People are people.  They all deserve dignity and respect.  As long as you are kind in your approach you'll accomplish so much more.

As Dad says, "Kill 'em with kindness!"   He's right.  It usually works!  Thanks, Dad!   I love you! Thank you to Audrey also.  For reminding me that there are other people like my Dad out there.

Be open. Be thoughtful. Be kind. Remember #kindnessmatters.