I have been thinking about this post for quite some time; with all that is going on in the world today and in our own country it is easy to withdraw in fear or anger. We see a welfare system out of control and we see that we are becoming an entitlement state; we see so many abuses of the system and I don’t disagree that we should be working to fix these things; so many of us work hard every single day and to know that others are living off the system is frustrating. That being said, to often that frustration with the global process translates down to the individual level. We see a homeless person and we assume the worst, our hearts have been hardened. I truly believe that most people are inherently good; they want to be kind and do the right thing but because of frustrations with the system our heart gets hardened and we miss small opportunities to change the world every day.
Work to change the frustrations with the system but on a daily basis I challenge you to just be kind to everyone you meet and find a way to give someone a helping hand that needs it…. Every single day.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Every day I see more and more divisiveness in the world. More and more people have developed a dislike for others that have a different world view or a different religion than our own. I see this condemnation for people that think differently than we do and it just drives a bigger wedge between us. You will never convince anyone your view or your religion is “right” by telling them all the ways they are wrong. Just be kind. Be an example to your way of thinking by being kind to everyone you meet. This doesn’t mean being weak or bending on your principles, you can stand strong on your own principles and still be kind. Somehow many of us have started mistaking kindness for weakness so we don’t want to be kind for fear of being thought weak, nothing could be further from the truth.
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”
― Kahlil Gibran
“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
― R.J. Palacio, Wonder
Instead of assuming the worst when we see someone that needs help or is just different than us, assume the best in others, and assume that most people are inherently good until proven otherwise.
“If you treat people right they will treat you right … ninety percent of the time.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
I would just add to this quote that too often we treat all people or certain groups of people poorly for fear of the 10%; this is a huge mistake and is what continues to drive a wedge between us in society.
Finally , I see so many people in this world who are quick to say “I will pray for you” but then take no action to help the other individual. I am reminded of the childhood book “Where the red fern grows” in the beginning the boy is upset because he prays and prays for hunting dogs and he doesn’t get them. His dad asks him what he has done to try and get those dogs, that praying is not enough, you have to be willing to meet God halfway. The boy then works all summer to raise the money and a door opens for him to get the dogs. God doesn’t just want you to pray, he wants you to take action to actually help others, prayer is important but many times you are the answer to that prayer…
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Essential Kahlil Gibran
“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Don’t just pray. Act.
We all need a helping hand from time to time, someone to help us up when we fall down. You should always be working to pick yourself up, don’t just expect someone to help you; but more often than not if you are working to better yourself someone will come along and be that helping hand to lift you up.
“I’d always end up broken down on the highway. When I stood there trying to flag someone down, nobody stopped. But when I pushed my own car, other drivers would get out and push with me. If you want help. Help yourself- people like to see that.” – Chris Rock
We can make a positive difference in the world, one person at a time. Today and everyday just be kind to everyone you meet, find someone every day to give a helping hand too. I will leave you with this.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia