Random Acts of Kindness
I’ve just noted something about myself I hadn’t realised before. Showing random acts of kindness to others is one of my favourite things to do. And now that I have this awareness, I also now realise the reason I love helping others is that it fills me with a joyful feeling.
I don’t just stop to help people; I also take the time to rescue worms from the tarmac after the rain. I bet your laughing now! Maybe you feel saving worms is just silly, but for me, I realise it is so easy for me to save that little creature, but so difficult for the little creature to save itself. And when I lay it back on top of the grass, I feel happiness, for me and the worm. As a gardener, I also realise that without worms, our soil and thus our food supply is doomed.
So please join me on the tarmac and help save the worms!
Wikipedia defines a random act of kindness as a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world.
Random acts of kindness have the power to reach into someone’s heart and give it a big, loving hug.
And that is what these words did for me when I read an email from Sarah Monro, a meditation teacher in Dorset who runs www.mindfullifedorset.co.uk
Here is what Sarah wrote…
I just wanted to say thank you for your warmth and kindness evident in your Facebook posts and on your website. Your generosity in inviting us all to share what we’re doing is appreciated and it feels wonderful to be part of a special community.
I have never met Sarah, so she wouldn’t have known the profoundly positive effect of her kind words. As someone who has gone through life rarely receiving support, I was so touched by her kindness to have taken the time to reach out to me in the way she did.
Her words definitely felt like a big hug to my heart.
It is perhaps easy to show random acts of kindness to those that we deem to be kind themselves. But it is not always something we want to do for those that are showing signs of anger towards us or others. This quote sums up my feeling on this…
Be kind to unkind people – they need it the most. Unknown
It is said that the anger someone shows is actually anger directed towards themselves.
Although, for most angry people, depending on their personal path of seeking holistically to heal themselves, they may not be able to recognise this. Anger, like any negative emotion, is a reflection of an inner mental turmoil that has not been resolved. And, until there is resolution, being outwardly angry is a way to deflect the pain one feels by projecting it onto others.
We live in a ‘blame culture’ which refuses to take responsibility for ourselves, and it is a trick of our ego to project the cause of our negative experiences onto others. Having learnt this profound truth, and now knowing that there is a small hurt child within that person who wants to be loved, showing a random act of kindness towards someone that is grumpy, rude or just unappealing, becomes much easier and more necessary to do.
Many years ago, while living in a Buddhist community, I learnt how meditation re-programs your mind (like self-hypnosis) so that you’re automatically and spontaneously more kind to yourself and other people. Mindful.org can help guide you on how to meditate and they also offer free meditations to get you started.
When was the last time you showed a random act of kindness to another person? And when was the last time someone showed a random act of kindness towards you?
Sometimes the kindness itself can be so subtle, such as a stranger smiling at you. But even with subtle gestures like this, there can be no doubt that each random act of kindness, be it given by you or received from another, are like a ray of sunshine on a wet day. They feel so good to give and receive, therefore being kind to yourself and others is a great habit to cultivate. Especially if you encounter a grumpy rude person while you are out and about. It might just be the only kindness their hurt inner child has received in a long, long time.
Written by Annie Corder-Mills.
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