I somehow found a link to this clip yesterday and you might find it incredibly cheesy but it brought me close to tears [man, that’s happening a lot lately – so great to be moved by so much of life!] because it is so simple and yet so profound:
It moved me both because of the idea of how simple it can be [offering to help someone who is struggling with a bag, buying an extra meal for someone on the side of the road, giving someone a glass of water] but also because of the effect it can have on the other person, encouraging them to respond in kind to the next person they see.
I wonder why it doesn’t happen more exponentially, because surely once you’ve seen how a small act can lift someone that makes you hungry to do another one and see if you can bring about the same kind of encouragement and life.
I guess one reason is because at the same time as this scenario is happening, there is a reverse scenario happening too so someone cuts in on someone else in the traffic which causes that person to aggressively force his car in front of the next person who tries which cause that person to go home and shout at their wife. Or something.
So I want to encourage you as you head into this weekend, to keep your eyes open for at least one act of kindness you can perform for someone else [that you wouldn’t normally].
[I] I personally don’t like the term ‘Acts of Random kindness’ – while I think I get the intention behind it, I think the kindness is absolutely intentional. Christ followers do not have the monopoly on being kind [in fact, too often we are trailing way too far behind] but it should be something that is part of our D.N.A. and requires minimum of effort – after all, we are to be known for the Love we have for those around us. But let’s be intentional in choosing people to be kind to.
[II] While I like the idea of the acts of kindness, I think it jumps forward 1000% the moment we add relationship. Sometimes, like sneaking the paying of someone’s car parking meter or restaurant bill it is good to do it anonymously and make it more about the deed than about you. But if you’re buying an extra hotdog for the man on the street, it may speak volumes to pull up some kerb and as his name and volunteer yours and find out a little bit of his story. You may find the relationship aspect will feed him a whole lot more than the food just did.
So it doesn’t matter so much what it is – just be inspired and encouraged to do something. And I know that it feels like self-promotion to write about what you did, but I would really dig it if you come back here and leave a simple one line description of what you were able to do [helped a lady across the street, sat and had a drink with Lydia who lives under the bridge] just so we can have some idea of what has come out of sharing these thoughts and to see if this had any effect at all. I will be looking out for my own thing to do and share.