The other day, I was standing in the check-out queue at our local pharmacy. In front of me, a young lady was holding her purchases in her hands, somehow juggling to stop them from falling on the ground. An elderly gentleman, who was also standing in the queue saw this happening, and dashed off to get her a basket. Such a small act of kindness but it meant so much to the young lady as she thanked him profusely for helping her out. When the gentleman went to pay for his purchases, she turned to me and said that it gives her hope again in the human race when someone displays such kindness. He had made her day.
We underestimate the power of kindness. We forget that each and every one of us are silently facing inner (and external) battles, small or large, but battles anyway. Sometimes, we are facing these battles alone and when this happens, the world can appear a very scary and lonely place to be in. By reaching out through random acts of kindness, we are making someone’s day a better one.
Through random acts of kindness, we are ensuring that someone finds hope again or simply has a reason to smile and feel good deep inside of them. We are ensuring that the energy of light and love flows and as we all know, where attention goes, energy flows. So, make sure it’s the right kind of attention – kindness breeds kindness.
Here, in South Africa, a new trend has taken off on Facebook - #Imstaying. Incredible stories of kindness are being displayed in the stories being posted on this page. These stories are giving us all hope, strength and love for all people no matter what colour, culture or religion. That is the power of random acts of kindness.
Random acts of kindness means being aware of others, showing empathy and having an understanding that we are all human after all and that all it takes to connect with each other is displaying this understanding through compassion and kindness.
A client of mine experienced the power of kindness recently when she was approached by two men asking to use her cellphone. They were desperately trying to contact their supervisor and if they didn’t, they knew they would lose their jobs. My client’s first reaction was to mistrust them, expecting them to run off with her cellphone. A voice then told her, “It’s okay, help them” and she did. Her act of kindness helped these men to keep their jobs that day. She also learnt an empowering lesson herself that day – that by learning to trust her inner voice, she was empowered to show a random act of kindness that in turn, reinforced these two men to realise that there are, indeed, good and kind people out there.
Random acts of kindness mean getting out of your own head and out of your own problems, reaching out and showing that you care. These acts do not have to cost you anything but a smile and a hug. Or, giving someone a shoulder to cry on when they feel they cannot go on anymore. It can be as simple as listening to someone as they talk about a problem they are facing or simply being aware that someone needs a basket to put in their shopping purchases.
What random acts of kindness will you perform today?