28 December 2011

Would You Kindly?

What kinds of kindness did you unleash upon the world today?  Were you polite to someone who was overworked, who could use kindness and politeness to brighten his or her day a bit?  Did you give a little something to someone who could use it?  Did you give someone cuts in line, or allow someone to merge into traffic ahead of you?  Perhaps you paid a sincere compliment, or helped someone do something they needed help with?
No matter what form your kindness took, it certainly was welcome in this world of ours.  Kindness is a soothing balm, a piece of heaven here on earth.  When we show kindness, we're contributing in a positive way not only to the life or lives of the person or persons to whom we show the kindness, but we're also contributing to the overall positive energy of the world as a whole.  And who knows--perhaps someone witnesses our kind act and decides to show a bit of kindness themselves, causing a ripple effect from one small act of kindness.

Our kindness doesn't need to be earth-shattering.  It doesn't need to affect thousands of people.  Our kindness can be diverting our step so as not to step on a bug, and that act to spare a life is still a positive act in the world.  Kindness, though, is your choice--and most of us choose to be kind only on special occasions or when we see that someone really needs it.  Kindness shouldn't be limited to certain times or places, though--we improve our lives and the lives of others when we show kindness, so why not show it as often as we possibly can?  It doesn't take much effort usually, even though it's a force that truly can change the world for the better when we employ it.  I know that I often lose chances to be kind--leaving the supermarket without saying something nice (other than "Thanks.  Have a nice day!"), driving to work without letting other drivers merge into traffic, not showing interest in someone else's life or job or situations.  Perhaps when I learn to take advantage of those opportunities, my life will improve as I add to the amount of positive energy I share with the world. . . .

We restore the holiness of the world through our loving-kindness
and compassion.  Everyone participates.  It is a collective task.
Every act of loving-kindness, no matter how great or small,
repairs the world.  All those ever born have shared this
collective work since the beginning of time.
Rachel Naomi Remen           

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