Live Original (Sadie Robertson) (10 page)

BOOK: Live Original (Sadie Robertson)
4.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

A SMILE THAT CHANGED MY WORLD

After the success of
Duck Dynasty
, our family started hosting groups from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This organization tries to make wishes come true for sick children and teenagers, and a lot of them wish for a trip to Duck Commander and a chance to meet our family. I love that we do this, and I always look forward to days when people from Make-A-Wish come to visit. We always do our best to make their time with us special, and we pray with them before they leave. Our time with them is very emotional; there’s usually not a dry eye in the room! We pray for them because we care about them, and we are really honored that they want to spend time with us.

Seeing people who have cancer yet are happy in the midst of it has really changed me. It makes me want to be happy too and not get upset over the problems I have. The world would say healthy people are definitely better off than sick people, but I have been amazed to see how much joy these patients have because of what they have learned about God in what they have been through.

A lot of the people from Make-A-Wish stand out in my mind, but I want to write about one specific boy, who was about fourteen years old. He came to Duck Commander with his parents and sister. He did not say much, but he had a big smile on his face, and I could tell he was happy. He seemed so excited to be in our company headquarters, to watch us film part of a
Duck Dynasty
episode, and to take pictures with us. I talked with his mom for a long time, and she told me how hard his journey has been for their family but how much closer they have become because of it. She also shared that everyone in their family had become better people as they watched him overcome the obstacles of his illness.

People with a worldly point of view might think what happened to this boy would be the worst thing they could imagine. But he and his family chose to put God right in the very middle of it, and they knew the only way to get through this hard time was with Him. That one boy’s smile changed my world. When I realized what faith and courage were behind his smile, it made me want to be a better person. When our visit with him and his family was over, all I could think was,
If he can be joyful, I can too
. And so can you.

Live Original Challenge
1.
 How can you change the world in some little way, starting today?
2.
 Will you commit to reading and posting only positive, encouraging messages on social media? What changes will you need to make to keep this commitment?
3.
 Who inspires you to change the world, like my papaw Howard inspires me? How can you take the lessons you have learned from that person and make a difference?
4.
 If you could change the world in one big way, what would you do? When can you start?
DON’T FORGET
You and your smile can change the world!
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
—Mark 10:45

CHAPTER SEVEN

ARK: Acts of Random Kindness

I
f you saw the movie
Evan Almighty
, maybe you remember this conversation between God and Evan.

GOD ASKS:
“How do you change the world?”
EVAN ANSWERS:
“One single act of random kindness at a time,” while he writes on the ground with a stick. He writes the letters A-R-K, to stand for “
A
cts of
R
andom
K
indness.”

One reason I like this part of the movie is that it does not just talk about being kind; it talks about being kind in random ways. The way my friends and I use the word “random” is to describe something that is not planned or thought out, maybe something totally unpredictable or something that feels like it came out of the blue. When I think of acts of random kindness, I know I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about them; I can just do them on the spur of the moment, when I see an opportunity.

This is important because it shows people that others do think of them and care about them—and it reminds them that there are still good people in the world. In fact, acts of random kindness surprise people in really nice ways. And most people really enjoy happy surprises. Some even go on to do something nice for someone else because acts of random kindness are contagious. One leads to another, and that leads to another, and pretty soon a whole cycle of kindness is happening.

I also like the scene where Evan writes “A-R-K” in the dirt because it teaches me that people do not have to do huge things that attract a lot of attention in order to change the world. Something like sending someone a text with a scripture or a little reminder such as “God loves you!” can make a person’s day. Or randomly paying for the order of the car behind you at drive-through restaurants or coffee shops can spread joy. As I wrote in the previous chapter, sometimes just a smile can change the world. And sometimes simply being kind can do it. Just ask Evan!

OH, YEAH—THE JEEP

My boyfriend is really great at doing acts of random kindness. He is the type of person who picks up people on the side of road and will do whatever he can do to help, even if it is not wise. He has the kind of heart that is always eager to be good to others—even if he has to go out of his way or sacrifice his time or money—and that’s something I really like about him.

One time when he was driving me to the airport in his Jeep, we
saw some people who appeared to be out of gas on the side of the road. They looked very worried. We stopped to ask them what was wrong.

They had a child in their car and told us they were trying to take him to the hospital. They did not ask us for money; they simply asked if we would use the Jeep to push their car to the nearest gas station, which was pretty far away. Without stopping to think about the damage this could do to the front of the Jeep, my boyfriend said yes.

We had no way of knowing whether the people were telling us the truth or not. Maybe they were; maybe they weren’t. But either way, we did what we could to help them. When we arrived at the gas station, the father thanked us and basically said, “There need to be more people like you in the world.” Maybe he will remember what we did for him and start looking for ways to do something similar for someone else.

Something important to know about acts of kindness: while they are definitely about the person you do them for, they are also about you. What I mean is that even though you can’t control how other people respond to them, you can decide whether or not you do them. I hope you will do them, because being kind makes you feel happy. Most of the time, it makes others happy too. But if it does not, at least you have done something you can feel good about.

If you set a goal to make someone’s day every day, I think you will be surprised at how much better your days—and your life—will be. By choosing to help others and make them smile, you will end up being the one with the biggest smile. Giving really is better than getting.

We need to be willing to look past ourselves and see what we can do for others. This is part of being a kind person. Even when it is not convenient—and even if it might mess up the car!

KINDNESS IS A FRUIT

When I wrote the story of the girl who wanted advice on being a better person, I mentioned the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23). When you receive Jesus and His love in your heart, then you receive the fruit of the Spirit. Kindness is one of those fruits; it’s on the list right after love, joy, peace, and patience. This tells me that being kind is
really
important, and it’s something God enables us to do when He lives in us.

If we know God, the fruit of the Spirit will show up in our thoughts and actions all the time, but we have to cooperate with the Spirit. The same chapter in the Bible that talks about the fruit of the Spirit tells us to “walk by the Spirit” (verse 16, NIV 2011). Kindness is one of the easiest and best ways to walk by the Spirit and to let other people know we are Christians. A little act of kindness doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it will mean so much to someone.

One time when my little sister, Bella, was younger, Two-Mama was really excited because she was going to get to go to Las Vegas with my mom, my dad, and Two-Papa, to a trade show for Duck Commander. But Bella got the flu the day before Two-Mama planned to fly out. My mom was already in Las Vegas because she had to be out there a day earlier to set up for the show. Well, Two-Mama could not bear to leave Bella with a babysitter when she had the flu, so she decided to stay home. John Luke and I were there too.

The way Two-Mama tells the story, John Luke disappeared for a little while one afternoon while she was keeping us. She knew he was in the house and safe, but he was very quiet. He later walked up to her and handed her a bouquet of flowers made of pipe cleaners.
This homemade gift (showing his artistic side!) was his way of telling Two-Mama he knew she had made a sacrifice in order to stay home, and he loved and appreciated her for doing that. He didn’t have the words to express what was in his heart, so he put his heart into a bouquet of flowers, and Two-Mama knew exactly what he was trying to tell her. That’s one of her favorite examples of kindness.

Another one of her favorite stories is about a time when she ended up babysitting five toddlers for a whole weekend. (Two-Mama babysits a
lot
!) There was a moment when all five were crying and needing things at the same time, and Two-Mama was pretty stressed about it. In fact, she says that whole day was totally stressful for lots of reasons.

John Luke was with her, and he was older than the other children. She says he followed her around that day very patiently, not asking for anything. She felt bad because she could not give him much attention. Later, she even told him she was sorry she had not been able to do much with him that day, and maybe they could spend more time together the next day.

The next morning, Two-Mama got up and saw a message in soap-crayon on her bathroom mirror. It simply said: “I love you, 2-Mama.”

John Luke had written it the night before. When Two-Mama tells this story, she always makes it a point to say that John Luke did not tell her about the message when he wrote it. He could see she was busy and stressed, so he just did it and then waited patiently for her to find it. For him, that act of kindness was not about being praised for doing something nice; it was about blessing his tired grandmother!

I was the one to receive kindness one night last year when I had had “one of those days.” I had so much to do, and I was super
stressed about it. I’m sure lots of teenagers can relate to that. I had to stay up really late that night trying to finish my homework, and I was so upset about the pressure that I ended up crying and feeling completely overwhelmed.

When I finally got ready to go to bed, which was probably sometime really early in the morning, I found a note from Bella on my pillow. The note had a Bible verse and a message about how much she loved me and hoped I was not stressed (which I was, totally). That made my night—and the whole next day. I basically forgot about the stress and could not think about anything but how sweet Bella was to write me that note.

Bella was pretty young when she left the note for me, only ten years old. But even at that age, she knew how to be kind. No one has to wait until they get older to be kind! Besides that, Bella did not have to spend a lot of time or money to write me that little note. It only took her a couple of minutes, and she did it with a piece of paper and a pen she found around our house. I say this to make the point that kindness can be quick, easy, and inexpensive. All it takes is a heart that cares about other people.

Another example of kindness comes from my brother Will. He and Bella ride with me to school every morning. Believe it or not, between John Luke and me, I am actually the better driver, so they like riding with me. Every morning during the wintertime, Will gets ready and goes outside in the cold to turn on the car and get it warmed up for me. I did not realize how awesome that really is until one morning after Will had spent the night with a friend and I had to get in the freezing-cold car and sit in the driveway waiting for the windshield to defrost before I could drive to school. When
he came home, I made it a point to tell him how much I appreciated his doing that special act of kindness every morning to help my day start off warm and toasty.

THINK ABOUT OTHERS

All my life, Two-Papa has had a great way of doing acts of random kindness. He gives away one-hundred-dollar bills to people in need. He does it anonymously (though some people will find out about it in this book), and he does it for only one reason: he genuinely wants to make people happy.

BOOK: Live Original (Sadie Robertson)
4.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

A Very Personal Trainer by Justine Elyot
Jenna's Story by Lizzy Stevens
Chase (Chase #1) by M. L. Young
Sins Out of School by Jeanne M. Dams
False Angel by Edith Layton
Midnight Warrior by Iris Johansen
Mr. Hooligan by Ian Vasquez