Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And if it hurts to be so blind, why don't you try bein' kind?

This video (discovered on this site this morning) made my day:

Isn't that heartwarming? I know, some of you are probably barfing from the cheese-overload, but I admit it, I can't get enough of this kind of thing. These random acts of kindness and fun that you occasionally see in our over-sexed, over-violent, over-isolated world.

Perhaps that's why they warm my heart so much - because sometimes it seems you don't hear about or see them happening very often. Well, I think the truth is that they happen all the time but we just need to pay attention to them more and give them more value.

When was the last time you did something kind for a stranger? I'm sorry to say I can't even remember when the last time was for me. It's funny though because anytime a stranger has done something nice for ME, I remember it ALWAYS (and I have a terrible memory, so that's saying something). For example, I still remember the time a few years ago when my mom and I pulled up to the drive-thru window at a local coffee shop and were informed that the woman in the car in front of us had paid for our entire order! We were both completely dumb-founded, and to this day thinking about that small, tiny gesture makes me grin like an idiot.

Or that time my car got stuck on a hill while driving home in a huge snowstorm, and a man walking by (as well as one from the car behind me) pushed on my bumper until the tires were freed.
These are all incredibly SMALL acts in terms of effort and time. They were not sweeping acts of society-altering reform, but things that only took a few minutes and affected only me. But look at the lasting impact these small acts have had on me! The fact that I still think and smile about them years after they have occurred just goes to show how much gestures of kindness can mean to another person.

It can be so easy to get caught up in our own "stuff" and in the negative occurances that happen in the run of a day, that we often forget that there are other people around us and that they are dealing with their own negative "stuff". Everyone has a story, everyone has something weighing on their mind and everyone needs a pick-me-up now and then.

I don't mean to lecture about how we should all treat each other better, because trust me, I'm very guilty of not engaging with others as much as I could. I tend to be shy and keep to myself and rarely engage with strangers in any case, let alone to do something nice for them. I'm just saying that watching the video above and reading the linked post opened my eyes to the fact that I (and human beings in general) close myself off an awful lot and that is not always necessary. It made me want to go out and do something nice for someone I've never met, and I think this is something we should all consider doing at some time or another.

Who knows if I will actually do this; chances are I'll forget all about this video and lesson in a few days, caught up in those errands I have to run, that car that cut me off, or that cashier that barely looked at me. That's usually what happens with these kinds of lessons, of course; they become overshadowed by life and its everyday annoyances.

But, hey, I still remember that lady at Tim Hortons, don't I? So, perhaps there IS a chance I'll remember this lesson too and do something nice for someone this week. And perhaps you will remember to do this too. Chances are if you and I go through with it, someone else will pass it on, then that person will pass it on, etc, etc, etc. And if that happens, think about how much more love will be out in the world.

Who knows, you might just make someone's day. And isn't that enough of a reason?

For more on how to make someone's day (and yours), visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website (oh yes, it exists).  Or check out this song.


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