I have been blessed by a random act of kindness many times in my life. The one that wowed me most happened a number of years ago when I was in the process of moving and two friends showed me compassion.
The new place was not yet ready for me, so I stored several boxes in a friend’s basement.
Granted, this is not a big deal. It’s something we can easily see ourselves doing. But then, while I was away at a conference, I received a pre-dawn call from her. Rain, and an accidentally unplugged sump pump, meant there were a few inches of water in her basement.
She needed me to remove my wet boxes and assess the damage. She was quite willing to put her car in the drive for a few days while my things dried in her garage, but I must come right away.
There was no way I could get home until the next day.
When Kindness is Unexpected
In desperation, I called another friend. Yes! She agreed to drive over and assist in retrieving my things. So, two friends of mine who did not know each other, connected only by their friendship and their compassion for me, worked together to save things that were of little monetary value but had sentimental importance to me.
I was, and am, humbled by their compassion. It took them a few hours and they must surely have given up other plans for the day, although neither has ever told me so. A random act of kindness is a debt of kindness that I can only hope to repay, or to pay forward.
What united the three of us was their ability to identify with me, to see themselves in my circumstances and to recognize their ability to help in my adversity. As single working mothers themselves, they fully understood my circumstances. It resonated within them, and they were touched and moved to act to help me. Their compassion fueled their acts of kindness.
People who come to your aid in a time of
personal crisis are people of genuine compassion and courage
~ Daisaku Ikeda, Japanese philosopher
Your Personal Appraisal
- How often do you engage in random acts of kindness?
- Are you aware of opportunities to be compassionate to others?
- Do you need to grow your compassion?
Life Is Honest, Open and True
Take time this week to:
- Show compassion through three honest acts of kindness – ones that do not provide you any advantage or fill an ulterior motive.
- Be open to experiencing the feeling of pleasure we all get when we are compassionate.
- Take a short walk in someone’s shoes and gain a true understanding of what it means to be her.