Kindness – It’s a Beautiful Thing, Pass It On
The smallest act of kindness can change a person’s whole day or impact their life. It is a wonderful gift to encounter a truly kind person and I feel so lucky to have met as many of them as I have. The thing about practicing kindness is that it involves actively thinking about others and observing the people around you. I’ve been on both sides of this with regards to helping out someone in need. Believe me, walking around with a baby and a toddler while trying to run errands is a challenging feat, but there are enough mothers who have survived this stage in their children’s’ lives who understand and step in to help. Unfortunately there are just as many days where a mother and her young children are to the rest of the world invisible and the family is left to fend for themselves. Now that my girls are older, I do try to be there with a helping hand whenever I see a mother with her young children – Pay it forward, if you will.
On the flip side, it’s remarkable what people will overlook if they are caught up in their own thoughts or sleepwalking through life. About a year ago I was sitting at a light along a busy road. I noticed a man with a walker moving slowly along the sidewalk which ran along it. I was thinking my own thoughts and only vaguely paying attention when I saw him fall. I sat there in shock for a good 30 seconds before I realized that no one was running to help him and his head was hanging off the curb into traffic. I shut off my engine, jumped out of my car and ran over to see if I could help him up. Another woman joined me and we were able to get him back on his feet. It was really surprising to me how many people chose to observe this drama from the comfort of their cars rather than trying to help a person who was so obviously in need of help.
My point in all of this is that society would be better if people actively considered others. The only time in recent memory when this type of thinking was prevalent was the week following the 9/11 attacks. People were just nice to each other; on the roads, at the mall, in their neighborhoods. For one shining week, society turned towards We-think, rather than Me-think and the tragedy that took so many lives unified those of us who were left for a brief time.
It is my goal to continue to be aware of others and practice Active (rather than random) Acts of Kindness when I am out in the world (at home too!) and of course I will be thankful for those who are kind to me. Hopefully this motivates those who stumble across my humble blog to consider doing the same.