Good Deeds: Kindness & Being Grateful

Today, a perfect stranger came up to me and asked me if I dropped by Air Pods case. As usual, I had started off my morning in contemplation of what I am grateful for, listing it in prayer, and then going to the gym to complete my pre-dawn workout. These are two rituals that I use to tend to the physical, mental, and spiritual elements of my holistic health regimen. However, like always, I tend to be somewhat absent minded and recluse by nature, even when I am amongst others in the gym. But today I was taken off guard, by a complete stranger who gave me the topic for today’s exploration.

What is human kindness, and why is it so undocumented and under-rated? As I found myself jamming to my morning workout playlist, and being bombarded by 18 channels of primarily negative news, a complete stranger returned something to me. At first, I was annoyed! Why is a complete stranger bothering me? How dare someone interrupt me when I was in the zone of a runner’s high, heart rate pumping and my breathing in the zone, releasing the much needed 4 AM endorphins to get me through the day. But as I took the moment to take out my Air Pods, and listen to what he had to say, I quickly realized that he was there to help, not hinder. What was most important to me, was that he waved a case in front of me, and asked if I had “lost an Air Pods case.” To my surprise, I had. I instantaneously shifted from general annoyance, to inquisitiveness, and eventually to gratitude, as I realized the nature of the good deed this man, this stranger had done for me.

12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. 13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. (James 3:12 – 14)

Wisdom is found in the deeds we conduct and the life we lead. Humility brings forward wisdom, which in turn affects the nature of the lives we lead. Far too often, we are simply surrounded by so much negativity that the positivity has a difficult time to shine through, which in turn affects the capacity we have to notice good deeds when they take place. Because our mind is so geared to avoid the negative outcomes, we oftentimes simply lose focus on all the good that surrounds us, let alone notice the profound effect a simple good deed can have on the recipient or even a community at large. The essence of human kindness is just this, to do good deeds for others. This cannot come from expectations, but must come from compassion felt within. This is a lesson we must learn to live ourselves, and then expect of others, if we are to heal divides so apparent in this day and age.

I thanked the man who took a moment out of his day to do a good deed for me. It made me realize that I had to take a moment from my day to recognize this and to see what kernel of knowledge I could draw from its essence. As I found myself surrounded by a wall of dark negativity being projected onto the television screens from the news being displayed, a single shinning light shone through because of a person’s good deed. Would this be newsworthy? of course not. However, the actions of others, especially when added up, can become the shining light of tomorrow’s news if we let it! What is human kindness and how can we propagate it in today’s world, let go of preconceptions, learn how to relate with others, shift our focus to that which promotes health and happiness versus stress and negativity, and lead a life by example, not expectations! What are your thoughts?

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