Sunday, May 30, 2010

A simple act of kindness

Years ago, while walking down the street on a beautiful summer day, I was feeling great. The weather was stunning, it had been a great day, and there were no signs of it changing. As I was enjoying my walk and looking forward to my destination(I don't remember where I was going), some kids drove by and one of them stuck their head out the window and said one word. A very mean word. Just like that everything changed, I wasn't "feelin' groovy". I was instead, angry, and hurt... outraged even. My thoughts changed from my perfect day, to how i could get even with this nameless jerk.
After some time, I thought of it again, and was quite fascinated by it.How could one person uttering one word change my whole outlook like that. Even more interesting was the question; What one word could someone utter out the car window, that could turn a bad day to a good one?
Here is the thing, I couldn't think of one, I still can't. It seems to be very easy to be cruel and unkind, but Kindness requires effort. You could drive by a person, and call them a name to make them feel bad. However if you wanted them to feel good. You would have to stop the car, and talk with them, or do something nice. Ok the car analogy may not work, because stopping your car and interacting with strangers is more likely to creep them out, but I think you get the meaning.
When I think about it more though, it just takes less effort to be mean. When you're arguing with someone... It's easier to keep going until you have won(Impossible as that is), It takes effort to stop, take a deep breath and understand the other persons point of view. It's easier to loose your temper instead of keeping your cool, or harder to be a person of honor than a dishonest person, or one that does not keep his commitments/promises.
I think that we all know some genuinely good people, and some that are not so good. Every once in a while though, you meet someone that makes it look easy, they seem to just on instinct have a gift for doing good. you can feel it when you are around them. the kindness in their souls seems to radiate to those around them. People just want to be close to them, and we are fortunate and blessed to know them.
I have been fortunate enough to know some of these individuals in my life time. Some were friends, others were teaches of one form or another. All of them stand out as people that have influenced my life in amazing ways.
Today I know 2 of these people. One is my little girl, She has been that was since she was born. The other a friend that I am fortunate to have.
These people inspire me, whether it was my friend Derrick, who passed a few years ago, or Alex Harding, who was a kindly person at church when I was a kid, who would take me to father son events, or help me pick out Christmas trees, when I didn't have a Dad at home.. Whether i knew them then, or know them now. I am beyond grateful for the kindness shown and the lessons taught through their actions... My world is a better place for having known them, and hopefully I am a better person through their example.

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