Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 2: Random Acts of Kindness

Many years ago, I was browsing at a craft bazaar when I was felt myself drawn to a table with t-shirts and sweatshirts that displayed different messages and designs. One sweatshirt caught my eye: it had a dark green background with white lettering that read, "Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty." Although that phrase has now been around for awhile, at the time, it was new to me and I fell in love with it. I wanted to display it to the world. The only problem was that they only had one sweatshirt like this and it was a size extra-large (which I am not). I bought it. I wore it some but it was really, really too big for me - and bulky enough that it didn't fit well under my coat. I finally gave it away - not in a random act of kindness - but because I was admitting defeat. It didn't fit. I was far from ready at that time in my life to see the irony that my inner self wanted to keep the message rather than give it away.

I cannot honestly say that I have completely grown beyond that. However, I recently have been playing more with random acts of kindness. The thing that is so delightful about them is that they are so random. To give when it is expected, to someone I know or to someone who will reciprocate, can still be generous. But to give randomly has a recklessness about it that is simply liberating.

Allow me share my little story. I took the photo above while out on one of my morning walks to the park to meditate. As you may know, I have a special fondness for sparrows that I have written of before. That morning, once again, I found myself trying to capture the image of one of these flitty little creatures. Suddenly, one landed on the large cross in front of  a lovely old neighborhood church. Knowing I had only a few seconds, I focused and "click", there it was in my camera. The lovely little sparrow had seemed to pause to ponder the great Mystery ... before flying off in search of its breakfast.

There is a moment of joy that comes with a fine photograph. But then there is the need to share. So I used Google to find the name of the church's pastor - whom I had never met - and found his e-mail address on their website. I composed a small note to his congregation, thanking them for their presence in the neighborhood. I attached the photo and wished them continued blessings. It was such fun to send this bit of joy randomly, to someone I didn't know, for no particular reason but to share. (The pastor sent a lovely e-mail response; even if he hadn't though, my "random act" was still a great gift to me.)

Join me. Commit a random act of kindness. Let us fill the world with them. Blessings...