Sunday, March 23, 2014

Strings of Kindness

Recently I stumbled across a talk by a woman named Chieko Okazaki calle Cat's Cradle of Kindness. In it, Chieko relates a story of a woman who touched her life when she was a young girl living in Hawaii, and how she and this woman had the serendipitous occasion to cross paths two other times in her life--each time being a life-changing moment for Chieko.

Here's what she concludes from this:

"Our lives weave together in ways we cannot guess or plan."

"We never know how far the effects of our service will reach. We can never afford to be cruel or indifferent or ungenerous, because we are all connected, even if it is in a pattern that only God sees."

I absolutely love that image. That we are all interconnected.

I've rediscovered this countless times.


Once on a plane I started talking to the man beside me (because I'm THAT person. I love talking to my row-mates on planes). He asked where I was from, I told him my hometown, and he mentioned that his girlfriend was from there. Would I by any chance know her? And I did! It was like we were immediately friends because of the connection we had to a woman I hadn't seen or thought about it years.

Did this random encounter affect my life in a way that changed me forever? Actually, it did. 

Through our talking, he told me that his girlfriend was a member of my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and that he was meeting with the missionaries. He said: "I've read the Book of Mormon and I can buy that it's the word of God, but I just can't believe that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Do you believe it?"

I had never had anyone ask me that question in that way what I said would really factor into his internal debate. I was kind of feeling the pressure, but I took a deep breath and told him that I absolutely believed it.

Even now, ten years later, I remember how much the truth of my statement filled me up inside with a feeling I had never felt before: Pure conviction. Here's the thing. I'd always figured that I believed the Book of Mormon to be another testament of Jesus Christ and that Joseph Smith had been a prophet.

But until that very moment, I had never had that knowledge burned deep into my soul.

I will never see this plane-mate again most likely, and my words may have had no effect on him. But they had changed me.


I can think of many other stories like this, where small encounters have reaped significant rewards, and I'm sure that you can think of several in your own life as well. This is why when Rachael came up with the concept for our Ripples Effect series, I was immediately in love with it. I knew how relatable it was.

My book, Silver Linings, is available as of today! In it, my main characters have faced their share of problems and their lives are about to be woven together with those of many others who help get them together.

I hope you go forward today knowing that your life is being woven together with others, in beautiful patterns that cannot be imagined with our limited perspective!


  1. Love it! I'm so excited to read your story!

  2. Love it! I'm so excited to read your story!

  3. Kaylee, I love your post, it is so true that often the kindness we do for others benefits OUR souls--and I'm sure that the pure testimony which you bore touched his soul. One day you may be the one your "seatmate" searches out in the Spirit world to thank you for your testimony.
    On another note, when you approached me at the ANWA conference and introduced yourself, you really touched my heart--because I don't know too many of our ANWA sisters, and those I do know, it's not all that well.... so I was feeling a little.... out of place, I suppose is the feeling I'm looking for--and you helped me feel more a part. So, thanks doubly!


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