The boys and I have spent the last week talking about karma.
The talks come after I lose my driver’s license. I’d tucked the license into my back pocket under the misguided impression that I might get carded at the Cyclones game. I never was. Not even a pity card. (Honestly, that hurt more than losing the license.)
When I realize it’s gone, I boldly announce to my family that instead of replacing it I plan to wait and see if a nice stranger finds it and returns it.
“It’s pretty easy to get a new one,” says Chaz, my man of little faith.
“I’m optimistic,” I smile back.
Instead of focusing on my lost license, the boys and I concentrate our efforts on being kind. We talk about unbroken circles, how kindness begets kindness, how simple kindnesses freely given bolster someone else to pay it forward.
“Like if you do nice stuff to other people, they will do nice stuff, too,” A. explains.
The discussions come during a week that NPR releases results from a new study on kindness. Canadian scientists working with fourth and fifth grade students report that kids who find opportunities to be intentionally kind to others are more likely to be accepted by their peers.
This may seem like a no-brainer; Kids want to be around kids who are nice to them. Scientists argue it’s more than that. They hypothesis intentional kindness lowers instances of bullying and increases self-confidence and self-esteem.
Put another tally in the kindness column. Kindness wins again.
Six days after losing my license, I receive a phone call telling me a stranger has left my license at the US Bank Arena security office for me to pick up.
“Boys,” I say, slipping my license back into the protective plastic of my wallet. “That is what you call karma.”