If there is one behaviour that is capable of changing the world, of stopping all wars, of raising the energetic vibration of the planet to that of peace and love, it’s kindness. Kindness is a gift to the giver, as well as the receiver.
There is not a day that goes by when we could not find an opportunity to show kindness in a big, or even a small way. We may offer what we believe is a very small act of kindness, not even knowing how huge that is to the receiver. Experiences are told all over the Internet of how just a smile and a few kind words has even prevented a suicide of someone who had lost faith in humanity, who felt alone, that nobody cared about or even noticed them.
Just before Christmas, I was out shopping and noticed a homeless lady, huddling on the floor in a corner. This lady sells The Big Issue, a magazine in the UK licensed for homeless people to sell. I don’t buy the magazine, but I often give her some money anyway. On this occasion, I decided to go and buy her a hot drink from the baker’s shop as I thought she could do with the warmth. I bought her a cup of hot chocolate, rather than a cup of tea, as I thought perhaps other people buy her tea, and what lady doesn’t like a treat of chocolate sometimes. She was so grateful, her face lit up. I returned to my car, which was only a few metres away from her, and my gloves laid on the seat next to me caught my attention. It occurred to me that this lady was not wearing any gloves in the bitter cold, as I remembered how she had cradled that cup in her hands to get a warm-up. I got back out of my car and took the gloves to the lady. That was such a simple little thing to me, I have several pairs of gloves, and don’t think twice about buying more if I need them. I know it meant a lot to her, the gratitude in her smile and her words of thanks and blessings told me that, but I can’t know how far that kindness extended into her life after I left her.
I do know though, that I have had kindnesses given to me over the years, and that the giver, who I often never saw again, could not have known how much it meant to me not just in the moment, but how it impacted on my future too. I remember many years ago, when I began a business, somebody at the Job Centre, I’ll call him Paul, assisted me in getting business loans and support even though somebody else had said they wouldn’t support me as they didn’t believe my business was viable. Paul went the extra mile and supported me as he knew how determined I was to make this work. I was a single parent and I had already invested all my meagre savings in my own training and getting it started. I got the funding and I did make my business work and become successful. A couple years later I decided to contact Paul to thank him and let him know just what a difference he had made to my life. He had moved jobs and worked for another agency but I did manage to find him. Even when it is not possible to contact someone who has paid you a kindness, if you think of how thankful you are to them, that energy will reach them, and will remind you of the kindness and humanity of the human race.
As I am writing this, I just looked out of my window to see one of my neighbours returning the bins to an elderly neighbour’s garden after the bin wagon has been. He does this every week, and over the summer when he cuts his hedges, he does his neighbours’ hedges too.
The thing about kindness is that you cannot give it without feeling wonderful yourself, and as Princess Diana said ‘give it with no expectation of reward’. The reward is in the act itself.