Early this week I decided to get grocery shopping done after a 12 hour shift at the hospital. As I was walking into the grocery store along with the hustle and bustle of other after work errand-goers, I saw a homeless woman who I had seen before, malnourished and lonely. She simply was asking those entering the store if she could have something to eat or drink. Unfortunately not one person acknowledged her. I had been upset for some time in the way I have seen people treating each other, acts of violence, so much anger. I had asked the woman what she wanted and she excitedly shared, “chips and a soda pop!”. I continued with my grocery shopping and got her chips, soda and a case of water. When I returned outside to give her the items she was happily overwhelmed but humbled in shyness and embarrassment. I was in awe that this woman was able to remain soft and still so kind towards others despite the lack of thoughtfulness in people that we see.
Kindness in a way acts as the oil that makes our world move more smoothly and with less friction. We can still get where we are going but the journey is more pleasant, and those around us can share in the ideal world that we help to create. We are all fortunate that kindness is limitless in its supply and available to everyone.
Whether giving way to someone in traffic or letting someone go ahead of us in line, donating clothes or sharing our homes in a crisis, we put action in creating a universe of kindness and giving with every choice we make. The smallest gesture can bring light to a shadow of an unpleasant situation or remove tension from a difficult task, but it’s effects can echo and extend far beyond the moment. We can be sure that we will receive a kindness in return, but giving is its own reward. Kindness expands the light we hold and reaches out to touch the light in others as well, giving us all a glimpse of the glow that has the power to enhance our world.