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May 082013

We all need a helping hand sometimes

Kindness stands out in today’s world

In our world today, where we see and read about the awful things human beings do to one another, acts of kindness stand out, particularly among strangers.

Sunday before last, a friend’s car became stuck in the mud in the church parking lot. After church, a few men helped him try to push the car out, to no avail. Out of nowhere, it seemed, a truck appeared. The driver attached a tow rope to the car, pulled it out and then continued on his way. No one knew who he was.

Last fall, during a visit with my daughter in Vancouver, a charming 88 year-old woman entered the bus my daughter and I were on and began talking with those around her. She’d just been to the book store, hoping a book she wanted was on sale. When she’d learned it was regular price, $22, she left the store without buying it. A few minutes later the clerk ran after her to tell her she’d left something at the desk. The young man behind her in the cashier line-up bought the book for her.

Not all stories of kindness are big or unusual. Earlier this week, a couple of waves were enough to start to lighten my bad mood. The woman in the vehicle that reached the four way stop at almost the same moment as I waved me on. The elderly man slowly crossing the road ahead of me while I waited at another stop sign gave me a friendly and thankful wave.

Over the last number of years the phrase “random acts of kindness” has become popular. According to the Miriam Webster Online Dictionary, random can be described as lacking a definite purpose, pattern or plan. I don’t think there is anything random about kindness. Kindness is meant to assist people and cheer them up. It should be constant and deliberate.

The major religions of the world promote kindness. Kindness is considered one of the seven virtues. When you practice kindness you may not always see the impact, but each act has a positive influence on our world.

Kindness should not be reserved for strangers. Sometime it is easier and sometimes it is harder to be kind to family and people close to us. And sadly, we often take the kindness of family and friends for granted.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ∼Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

What the world needs now is a new kind of army – an army of the kind. ∼Cleveland Amory

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ∼Mark Twain


A deer is sometimes considered a symbol of kindness, as is a dolphin or a dove

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