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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Reflections: Small Acts of Kindness - Feb 22, 2019

Give assistance whenever possible, safe, and practical. Acts of kindness need not be grand gestures, or heroic interventions to count.
In fact, our lives are mostly made up out of the countless little things we do. Things that can too often be dismissed as trivial, and no big deal, maybe account for 90% of an average person's daily life.(And this is not any kind of actual, researched information. I'm guessing something like this might be the result from some studies.)

But, for better or worse, it's the sheer volume of these little things that in the end, forms our character, and strongly influences how those around us, perceive that character.
It's good to remember - there's no act of kindness too small. The world is made more beautiful, more safe, and more enjoyable as a result of countless small, ordinary, and even invisible acts of compassion that people everywhere practice every day.

Being patient when someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of cursing at them and getting upset, counts.
Letting go of that mean thing you were going to say back to someone who has cursed at you - that counts.
Acts of forgiveness count. And these kind acts actually count twice, when they are heartfelt and allow no room for future rekindling of any kind of resentment.
A smile shared, in passing, with a stranger - that counts too.
Using words of kindness, rather than of frustration and annoyance when a needy person asks you for change, counts. Even if you don't give them a penny, you can give them kindness, and that grants them the human dignity they don't often get from others.

Sometimes doing even small acts of kindness, can feel really good. But, it's more important to remember that doing kind acts - big or small - isn't about you feeling good. It isn't about putting off feelings of guilt, or trying to look like a good person to others. And it would be a mistake also, to think it's not about you. An act of genuine caring does require that very important, "you" component. But, to qualify as a genuine act of caring, your attention - your primary focus - is that other person in that moment. What is their world like? How can you show up FOR THEM, however briefly, and without condemnation, in such a way, that you provide some form of comfort, safe haven, some relief from fear, acceptance, humanity, dignity.

Being committed to small kindnesses doesn't mean you have to give up personal boundaries, or sacrifice your goals, schedule, or anything like that. These are things you find that you can do ALONG THE WAY. Eventually, possibly, you may find that you don't mind so much, the occasions that invite you to give up miniscule amounts of time, or tiny bits of resources, when you begin to see a bigger picture come into view. For such small investments, the returns can be immense, and the benefits perpetuating.

You will probably never know the true depth of the difference you've made for another human being, or animal person. And it may be many months or years later, taking on the challenge of practicing small acts of kindness every day, that you or others notice the profound difference it's made in you. Who you're being, your health, your relationships will shift in ways that might surprise and delight you. At some point on your life's journey, you will look back, and know what real wealth actually is. And you will see behind you, a path adorned with treasure.

Bright Blessings,


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