A Little Bit of Kindness
Catherine Pulsifer, © 2007
There are times in our life when we don’t take action because we feel the act of kindness is too little, that it wouldn’t make a difference. However, sometimes the smallest gesture can make a huge impact on someone’s life. There are many different ways we can show kindness to others, and it doesn’t have to be in a big way.
The Simple Things
The simplest of things may make the difference. A smile, a door being held open, a handwritten note, a kind word, the list can go on and on.
I was recently reading some of Aesop’s fables and came across the story of The Lion and The Mouse. While this story has been around for a long time, it still has wisdom in its words. Below is the story.
One day a Lion was asleep when a little Mouse began running up and down his back; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.
“Please don’t,” cried the little Mouse: “forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?”
The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him that he lifted up his paw and let him go.
Some time after the Lion was caught in a trap, he pulled with all his might, but the ropes were too strong. Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight, in which the Lion was, went up to him, and with his sharp little teeth gnawed away the ropes, setting the Lion free.
“You once laughed at me,” said the mouse. You thought I was too little to do you a good turn. But see, you owe your life to a poor little mouse.”
The Difference It Can Make
While you may think the story is far fetched, the point I found in reading the story is not the size of the action that is important, but the difference that a small action made. Small acts of kindness makes a difference in ways you may not realize!
We All Have Opportunities
Do you have opportunities to give small acts of kindness? Some people might think that they do not have a chance to show another person a small measure of kindness but these opportunities are everywhere you go through the day. For example, if you ride on a bus, have you ever said good morning to the bus driver or do you just ignore him or her and proceed to your seat? A simple good morning or good afternoon tells the person that you acknowledge them and it is even an acknowledgement that can help to brighten a day.
If you drive a car anywhere, do you let someone enter into to traffic or do you just keep driving inching along and ignoring the other driver? Stop and wave the other driver into traffic ahead of you is a small gesture of kindness that may influence this driver to do the same for someone else later.
When you go to the supermarket or grocery store, do you hold the door open for a young woman pushing her baby in a stroller or do you just dart ahead through the door without stopping?
When you are at work, do you say good morning to your colleagues or do you just go about your business without acknowledging their presence?
Or, how about those people you meet on the street that ask for money or who are peddling various goods? Do you ignore them, or give them no acknowledgement that they are also human and have feelings?
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug.” Og Mandino
“A helping word to one in trouble is often like a switch on a railroad track . . . an inch between wreck and smooth, rolling prosperity.” Henry Ward Beecher
“… when you commit an act of kindness, it causes elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, which gives you a natural high: thats what that fuzzy warm feeling is.” Bernadette Russell, The Little Book of Kindness: Everyday actions to change your life and the world around you.
“Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.” Samuel Johnson
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