First, let me apologize for being gone so long. One thing leads to another and time flies by.
I’d like to share my thoughts on how much I am awed and inspired by the vast capacity humans have for showing each other kindness and love. I know it’s not a topic often discussed. In fact, we mostly hear and read about just the opposite. How selfish human nature can be. The key word being “can.” It’s a choice.
I am blessed to have witnessed both. Yes. Both. Because without one, there would be no measurement for the other. Some are forms of Paying it Forward, which coincidentally is one of my all time favorite movies. Tears flowed freely the first time I saw it. They still do every time I see it. Such a simple concept. It spoke to my soul and asked the one constant question – “What does kindness cost?” Do you know?
Maybe people believe they will run out of love. If they share it too much they will not have any left for themselves. As though there were a limit; a deep well they are afraid will one day run dry. I believe we are made of and from the Universe. Our capacity to show compassion, understanding, caring, and love is endless. The more we give, the more we share…the more we have to give and the more we will receive. We are all deeply connected. Therefore, when we give to others, we are also giving to ourselves. We have the power to make the world a better place. What we do does make a difference. It can be a hard concept to grasp. I’ll do my best to explain my thoughts.
Let’s say you see a stranger on the street. The person is obviously lost, perhaps confused. Maybe he or she is looking for a building, or a street address, or such. You could stop and ask if they need help. It wouldn’t take long. A few minutes at most. But then you think, you really want that cup of coffee, or you are already late. What if they need more than you can give? So you choose to keep going. The person is so confused or distracted, they step into street. They don’t see the car coming. The driver is momentarily blinded by the sun and doesn’t see them. I think you see where this is going.
In your choice of withholding, you have affected not only the person laying in the street, the driver of the car, both their families, and who knows how many others. Because, like it or not, we truly are all connected. One race. One thread in the continuum of space and time. In life. In the balance of the Universe. Everything we do, or don’t do, has an effect. We are an integral part of the whole. Let’s look at another scenario.
A young woman stands in a hallway with a piece of paper in her hand. She looks upset, close to tears…frustration clearly visible in her stained features. You’re late for a meeting. This person is in need. Another minute or two isn’t much of a sacrifice. You stop and ask if you can help. Relief washes over her face. You look at the paper and point her in the right direction or tell her you’re going that way and show her where she needs to be. Before you part she smiles and thanks you once again, and you smile back. The part you don’t see and can’t possibly know is she has been told she has a lump on her breast. She’s stressed and worried. The reason she’s here is to meet a friend who has been through the same thing.
Your kindness, taking a minute or two out of your day, calmed her and made her feel less hopeless. Less lost. You don’t know this, but you don’t need to because when she smiled, you felt pretty good yourself. Your gift. Tomorrow this same woman does not hesitate to help another. The momentum carries forward. Life a ripple in a pond, the waves keep moving out. Acts of kindness are far-reaching, and at some point they become full circle. The circle of life. The second part of this is to know when we to ask for what we need. Our part of the equation is allowing others close enough to offer help. To let them see our need.
And so it was with my own experience. A short time ago I asked for help and guidance with my writing. I admitted I needed it. I was struggling and it wasn’t going well. My frustration showed in each piece of work I touched. Writing had become a chore instead of a pleasure. So I asked.
I was blessed by kindness. There were a number of responses; each helpful in one way or another. In particular, a fellow author took under her wing and guided me through several edits. Concepts which had become so difficult to grasp were suddenly coming into focus. As a result, I am much closer to producing a piece that is truly ‘my best.’ I asked. The Universe provided what I needed, when I needed it. I’ve learned and I’ve grown. In the craft and my understanding of it. For make no mistake, dear reader, writing is an art, and much more intense than you might think.
The result of kindness has a ripple effect. In turn I will do the same for another. While I’m no expert in the field, I don’t have to be. All I need to do is share what I’ve learned. Give encouragement. Pay it forward.
So, I ask again…”What does kindness cost?” Only you can decide for yourself. For me, it costs nothing. It is one of those gifts that just keep giving. I give thanks for the opportunities to show kindness.
People often ask, “But how can I, one person, make a difference in the world?” My response is, “Make a difference in your part of it. With the people whose lives you touch.” They are your part of the world. If everyone did the same the world would be much different than it is today. A place of hope, and light, and love. I want that for me. I want that for you. I want it for the world. Take opportunities to show kindness, to love one another, to share…because, when we help each other, we help ourselves. We are one.
Until next time, my friends…Love and light.