Sunday, November 23, 2008

random act of kindness

Last night I sat at a dinner table with nearly a dozen women, and in the conversation one of the women exclaimed that this very day she was the recipient of a random act of kindness. She was incredibly excited as she began to tell her story. As it happened to be, while she was at the post office, someone gave her a postage stamp so she could be off and on her way without having to wait in a long line. Such a simple act, the giving of a postage stamp (a value of 42 cents...), but the expression of kindness made her day as though a brilliant light has shined upon it. And now even her evening was graced as she recounted her story to us with great joy.

I loved seeing her pleasure in her "random act of kindness" (as she so lovingly called it). Not long ago I began a practice of every day giving something to someone, and last night I had the opportunity to see what it might be like for a recipient for someone I have given something.

Sometimes my gift is as simple as a couple of dollars to a homeless person. Sometimes it might be a check I write for a child I support in Ethiopia, a greeting card to a lonely woman in a nursing home, a bag of fruit to a group of teenagers, a loaf of home-baked bread for a neighbor, or a handwritten letter to a woman I sponsor in a work program in Nigeria. Sometimes I have to get creative to find another way to give. A couple of days ago I picked up a woman with her very young children standing and waiting at a bus stop when the temperature was 32 degrees and very windy. She kept saying "thank you" to me again and again, and "God bless you." I gave her little boys some quarters for their pockets and their little faces broke into big smiles. Such a simple thing, really, giving someone a ride for a few blocks, but for this mother the act of kindness was more than a warm ride on a cold day. It was a moment of feeling special, a moment of feeling the touch of friendship.

If you give or do something as a random act of kindness, please share with us so we can take joy in the gift as well (and, of course, I am always on the lookout for new ways to give!).


Mark said...

You have developed a wonderful habit of giving daily! You have inspired me to more conscious of giving on a daily basis. Thank-you for raising my awareness level.

diana christine said...

Hello Mark,

Welcome to Spirit First, and thank you for your comment. My practice of daily giving is becoming profound in several ways, one of those being my increasing gratefulness for opportunities to give. I was very tired early yesterday when a homeless man suddenly appeared before me and begged for anything I could give. My very first thought was immediate appreciation that an opportunity to give had pesented itself to me. I gladly gave him everything I had in my pockets. I find it hard to describe...but this practice of daily giving is changing my world. I see a need or a request as a wonderful opportunity to let the Universe pour through me rather than see needs as a problem or an imposition.

Again, thank you for your presence and for taking the time to comment.

Diana Christine

Anonymous said...

Its been awhile ...some time you loose time and space to be in touch of those who inspire you ..Inlighted with your words as always

Nasra Al Adawi