Today I write about the positive effect of random acts of kindness on both the giver and the receiver of such acts. As we welcome our friends and family to the Thanksgiving feasts we shall all celebrate on Thursday (and then the wonderful leftovers on the 24th, 25th and 26th) my request of you is to be the giver of at least one act of random kindness this week. Most holidays I write about “The Service” meaning our men and women in the Armed Forces. But all of us are in service, should we choose to do so. Those that care for children or parents; those that spend Thanksgiving at a soup kitchen and those that find homes for abandoned pets. Your random act of kindness is a service.
Last Saturday while I was at the Post Office an older woman was mailing a package to her son in the Navy. In the box were a pair of shoes. As she was deciding to send the package priority or regular mail, the person behind her took out his credit card and told the postal employee that he was going to pay for the priority mailing. With that the woman began to cry and to tell the crowd how so many of her family have served or are currently serving. I could tell that the holidays are a tough time for her as she is without so many of her loved ones and she has to worry about them being in harm’s way.
Both the giver and the receiver of that random act of kindness were moved beyond words and what I witnessed was an improvement in everybody’s outlook on life for that period of time. Did the glow last 10 minutes or 10 hours? Who knows? But for the people who witnessed it, for that bright shiny moment, we saw the God-given good in people and were given the insight of just how easy it is to improve another person’s life.
Think of what you can do. A warm hello to the people you see on the street, maybe you can pay for someone’s groceries on the line ahead of you or behind you or the cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts for the next person in line. Maybe it’s an opportunity to volunteer at a local church, temple or other place of worship. Or a swipe of your transit card for someone in need. It doesn’t have to be big and showy. It doesn’t have to be expensive or even cost a penny. A smile goes a long way.
So this Thanksgiving, enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be thankful for all we have. Thank all who are in service and may you all make this crazy world a better place for all. I leave you with a short story that will change your perspective on how just a small change can make us more thankful for everyday pleasures.
A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: “I am blind, please help.”
There were only a few coins in the hat. A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, “Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?”
The man said, “I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way. I wrote: “Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it.”
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind.
Moral: Be thankful for what you have. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear. The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling… And even more beautiful, know that you are the reason behind it!!!
Be the reason for someone else’s smile.
All the best