Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Reaching Out

“Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding place and let be free and unashamed.” -William Saroyan

Random Acts of Kindness week is celebrated on February 15-21. So, I thought I would write today about random kindness and senseless acts of beauty. How greatly they do effect our lives! Not only do we enjoy being the lucky recipient, but our hearts become happy when we practice generosity and compassion toward others. It's a win/win situation.
It's just a shame that most people have to wait until a special week is declared before they even consider the way they could touch another life. Not necessarily in a big way, but in a way that will be appreciated and remembered.
What price can you put on the smile you are given by someone that you help today?
I can live for two months on a good compliment. ~Mark Twain
Sometimes all that is needed is a few kind words. And it doesn't cost you a thing.
You should always realize that just because you woke up in a good mood, doesn't mean that everyone else did. And sometimes all that person needs to get jump started- is a smile, a compliment, or a friend to cheer them on.
Some people may be disillusioned, depressed, despondent. Sometimes they may close the door so tight that you can't get in- but just crawl through the window and sit with them awhile. Sometimes silence is the best company and company is the best gift.
On your bad days, they will remember you. And they will crawl in your window and hold your hand till the sun comes out again.
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world. ~George Bernard Shaw
It really doesn't matter if you get anything in return. It's like Paying it Forward, sowing seeds that will bloom later, setting a solid foundation for a good soul. You are the only one that needs to know you were kind. Conscious is a warm companion.
In our everyday lives, we are introduced to rude and insensitive people. Our human response is to lash out in a similar way- to interact on their level. To meet them on their playing field. Don't ever do it. Don't stoop to rudeness and insensitivity yourself. They will be both hurt and helped by a smile or a kind word instead. And, believe it or not, amid all the people they meet that day-they will remember you the most.
Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are not nice- but because you are. ~Author Unknown
Yesterday I was shopping at WalMart and realized that I needed to buy laundry soap. I rolled my eyes and heaved a giant sigh as I knew the prices on laundry products are becoming outrageous. For some reason, placing a ten dollar bottle of soap in my cart is always uncomfortable for me. But I had to get something to wash clothes.
I decided on the less expensive brand, and when I went to pick it from the shelf, I saw a coupon carefully tucked beneath it. A dollar off! Wow! I immediately snatched it up and went on with my task.
“To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.” -Anne Morrow Lindbergh
I got to thinking later that someone had taken time to clip that coupon. Some stranger had sat down at the kitchen table in their warm house, maybe with a cup of coffee, and a pair of scissors, and gathered those paper savings into a neat pile.
Later, when they went to the store, they realized that they didn't need that coupon. That they had another, or that perhaps they could wait another day to buy soap. But by pure kindness, they decided to leave the coupon for someone who might use it.
This person could have just as easily saved it, or wadded it up into their purse- but their nature was to give. Without a seeing eye or a word of praise. Just because it was kind.
And I thank you. Not just for the dollar savings, but because- in the space of an ordinary day- you made me pause to consider kindness.
“The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower- share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's -smile at someone and receive a smile in return- are to me continual spiritual exercises.” -Leo F. Buscaglia
I remember my sister Jewel telling a story about a incident in the grocery store parking lot. She was pushing her cart out to load her groceries, when all of a sudden, her bag of poatoes came tumbing open and sprawling across the pavement.
An elderly lady stepped up and began picking up the potatoes, reaching and bending to help Jewel grab the runaway spuds.
That old woman could have simply walked by, said, Oh, My!" and continued walking. But her kindness never gave thought to her age or health or agility. She just knew it was the right thing to do -and did it.
Jewel even wrote a letter to the editor of the paper, thanking this stranger for her act of kindness. I bet out of a thousand people she's met since then, she still remembers that kind lady.
It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit
One way that some people like to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness is to pay for the person behind them at the fast food window. Or pay the toll for the next person at the toll booth.
It doesn't even have to be monetary.
Open a door for someone, give them your place in line, help mow their yard, fetch their paper,
run an errand, visit them with banana bread, send them a greeting card, write them a sweet letter...
...Help them pick up their potatoes- or secretly leave a coupon behind.
It doesn't matter how big or small, trivial or costly the act is.
Just do it.
The rewards are great.
The smile is priceless.

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use. ~Emily Post *****

Today's Five Things
1. Unexpected pleasures
2. Snow days
3. Cheerios
4. Comforters
5. Hot soup