Kindness NewsPosted: May 12, 2014
Later, she told us the doggie was in the street and she’d almost run him over before she rescued him. Then she read his tags and phoned his owners.
The doggie’s owners came quickly, thanked her, and that was the end of the story. No tragedy. No reward. Just a kind-hearted young woman who protected a darling dog.
There is nothing very remarkable about the episode. Our young heroine might tell her boyfriend about it that evening, but that would be the end of the tale.
I decided to write about it because it seems like an important story to me. It is an example of the kind of interaction we depend upon in civilization. Our lives depend on cooperation, courtesy, and kindness, all of which are milder examples of Love – or God -in action.
This story depends on trust and kindness. My helper trusted and wasn’t afraid to call the number on the doggie’s tags. The owners trusted her to return the dog. There was nothing unusual there.
Most of us trust most people most of the time and we think little or nothing about it. We trust the strangers we contact during our normal day.
I trust the person at the check out counter to put all my groceries in my bag. I trust the water company employee to read my meter correctly. We trust our teachers to educate our children. And so it goes.
Civilizations are built on cooperation, mutual agreement and trust. While my sweet helper went a bit farther to help that doggie than some people would, it certainly was not a rare or exceptional story.
We find feel-good stories everywhere, all the time. We may not notice, but we count on the civility of others. The stories of robbery, car-jacking, and vandalism are on the local news because they are unusual. Good deeds are not scarce so they are not TV news.
It’s important to remember that there are many, many more happy encounters than bad ones. If you doubt this, try an experiment. Pick a day and count the pleasant and unpleasant exchanges, then compare.
These days, I am very aware how much people love to help. I’m using a wheelchair lately and it almost seems like a joke the way people rush to open doors for me. My helpers and I laugh sometimes when it looks like slapstick comedy – especially when grown men seem to race to see who gets to the door first.
My doggie rescue story is cheery but it won’t be on the evening news. I’m writing about it because I want to remember that it might have had a very different ending. A small dog in the middle of the road could be killed. A dog without tags could end up in the pound. A different person might not return the dog but keep it for herself. There are other dramatic endings possible.
There was not much drama in the real story but it made a lot of people very happy. The kindness expressed in that ordinary deed made me happy. I thought about it several times during the day and smiled every time I remembered.
My helper was thrilled to have been the rescuer. The owners who looked for hours for their beloved pet were even more thrilled. It was a lovely event that brightened several people’s day. It was wonderful to have an example of how kindness lights up the world.
I heard a lot of New Thought – New Age people talking about Random Acts of Kindness a few years ago. It was a very popular idea within my circle of friends. Once, my friend and I discovered our tickets to the movies were paid by a generous stranger who was ahead of us. We never knew who performed this typical deed.
There were Random Act of Kindness cards anonymously distributed on cars. I heard a couple of Sunday talks on the subject and there was a movie based on that idea.
I hadn’t heard much about Random Acts of Kindness lately so I looked on google, and I discovered more than anyone needs to know. There is a website, a long article in Wikipedia, and many, many other resources.
It seems some woman thinks she invented the concept in 1982. Actually, the Jews had an idea like that at least 3000 years earlier. They call it the mitzvah. You can check it out for yourself but you don’t really need to know a whole lot of history to see it is a great idea.
Judaism teaches that the world is built on kindness and Christianity teaches that Jesus, was the Master Teacher of Love. Performing kind actions anonymously toward strangers is a practice that shows up in most religions somehow. Think of all those nickels dropped into all those poor boxes throughout the centuries.
In New Thought, we teach that God is Love and Love is the Source of all creation. We believe in something called the Law of Attraction which means that the good you give out will come back to you.
The Law of Attraction operates something like a boomerang. For example, if you do something nice for someone, Spiritual Law will prompt someone to do something nice for you. Whether your deed is anonymous or not, it may not be quid pro quo. You will not always get your reward from the recipient of your kindness, but Love will definitely find a way to reward you.
You don’t really have to know anything about organized religion to see the value in performing acts of kindness. All you really have to do to appreciate the uses and delights of acts of kindness is to experiment. Haven’t you ever noticed how people who do a lot for others are happy? Check it out.
Try being especially kind one day and note the results. I guarantee you will feel better internally. I also believe you will find that kindness is returned. The Universe always finds a way to pay back what you put into life.
One of the things I know and love about New Thought beliefs is that they are not complicated. You can test them in your daily life, one day at a time. Why not make kindness your hobby for the next few weeks or month? Do something kind for five people every day and track the results in your own life.
Opportunities to be kind are all around you. Opening doors for those with physical challenges is kind. Telling someone how much you appreciate or admire them is kind. Giving away clothes you don’t wear to the Salvation Army is kind.
There are so many opportunities to practice kindness and there is so much to be gained. Why not start today?