This week, in the act of looking for ways to express kindness, I began to notice how many times I was on the receiving end of someone else’s generosity and thoughtfulness. By the end of the week I felt as though I was experiencing a kaleidoscope of kindness. I had somehow rotated the dial on life to reveal a beautiful pattern of actions and, with each turn, a dazzling new connection was emerging.
As brilliant as it was though, it also made me wonder why I hadn’t noticed this before.
The answer, I realised, is that it’s easy to become caught in the humdrum of life, to focus on the downside, to be drawn into a vortex of negativity. Just as it is to become desensitised to the complexities of the world we inhabit and the role we all play in how it turns out.
Our level of information connectivity, courtesy of the technological advances we continue to make, is both a blessing and a curse. Every day the woes of the world are streamed directly into our lounge-rooms, our workplaces, and now, with the internet in our pocket, onto public transport, into waiting rooms, shopping lines, school pick-up… And there is every chance that, depending on what we choose to tune into, the messages we are receiving are disproportionately negative, focussed on what’s wrong with the world, selling us images of insurmountable problems. I know that often, by the time the networks finish their thirty minutes at five with that single good news story, my heart is bruised and, dare I admit it, closed.
But looking around me this week, I had reason to challenge that balance. Yes, terrible things happen in the world, every day, but there are also amazing acts of love, compassion, self-sacrifice, courage – kindness. And I am a part of that – both the giving and the receiving.
Sometimes we just need to turn the dial and change our perspective.
I also wondered if in my haste to get through the day I wasn’t missing out on the million acts, both small and large, of selflessness directed towards me? It was possible, of course, that I had changed the energy surrounding me through my own actions and conscious kindness in the past three weeks, but more likely, this was as it had always been. Kindness in waiting. As though to reinforce the possible truth in that, this thought was then followed by three acts of kindness within the space of ten minutes.
Was my life changed by any of those acts of kindness, or all the others I have experienced? I’d like to think so. Even if it’s not possible to see how every twist and turn, every possible path I could take in a single day, or every person I encountered could irrevocably alter my life (and me their’s), I know that every time someone committed to kindness, I felt uplifted, connected, loved. And in a week of hard news, tough times and big changes, it made everything else a little easier.
I believe that we are all connected, a part of the same energy and, in as much, constantly bumping up against each other regardless of whether we are in the same time and place. So safe to say, when that does happen, I hope it’s in that wonderful kaleidoscope of kindness.
Linking up with Team #IBOT