Somewhere I read that a butterfly’s wings beating on one part of the world may cause a tornado in another part of the world. True or not? Who really knows? However, I believe that, unlike the butterfly, good things and good intentions really do have a global effect. Consider this: an unexpected act of kindness can not only change lives, but change attitudes as well.
Every so often we’ll hear of something lovely, such as a waiter who is given a thousand dollar tip “just because.” Or we see a young boy on televison who decided to make sandwiches and bring them to the homeless people in his town every day. This boy used his allowance and money from his lemonade stand to help others in his town who were hungry.
We have heard stories of kindness all over the world; the policeman who saw a homeless man with no shoes on in winter and took off his own socks and boots and put them on the homeless man’s feet. There are probably millions of acts of kindness all over this world; some we hear about, and some are not heard, but the kindness is still there.
Funny thing about kindness: it not only makes others happy, but it softly pushes us to be kind to others, including ourselves. People aren’t always what they seem, either: that angry old man who never responds to your “good morning” may just be lonely. The Downs syndrome girl who always asks how you are is not to be pitied; for she is working and helping people every day, and she is proud of her job.
Kindness costs nothing, but brings great and humbling change to us all. Even though the world seems in constant turmoil, there is still kindness out there. And while we tend to forget the turmoil, we don’t forget the many kindnesses we’ve seen or have been given. And it’s such a little thing; opening a door for someone who arms are full, or telling that helpful girl at the bank how pretty her hair looks, or pulling a can of soup off the top shelf in the grocery store for someone who can’t reach it.
Kindness is truly part of all the “good stuff” that is around us each day. It more than makes up for the bad stuff, believe it or not. When I was working, I tended to always be in a rush; I felt I had to do everything right now. The man in the cubicle next to me was a Korean gentleman who always seemed relaxed and happy. He would see me running around in my usual hurried way, and say, “please—come sit. Relax.” And he would pull out a chair for me. He would say, ‘relax, breathe, no need for hurry.’
Amazingly enough, he was right. Just a few minutes of kind talk and looking at his serene face made my whole being relax. I never told him this, but his kindness made my day so much better. To this day when I let myself get all worried and hurried, I think of him and I relax, breathe and realize that there is no need for hurry.
It is a kindness for us to take a break, relax and breathe. All of us deserve kindness, even our hurried ourselves.