Week – #16 Random Acts of Kindness and more

Last week I looked and found persistence everywhere. This week the task is to look for kindness. In addition, promote kindness in a couple different ways.  Random acts of kindness where no one knows it was you are the most fun.

There is a story about two dogs. At separate times during the day they walk into the same room. One comes out warbling and wagging happymentaher tail while the other comes out growling and either afraid or mad. While watching this go on you walk into the room to see what could possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad. You are surprised to find a room full of mirrors. The happy dog found thousands of happy dogs looking back at her and the angry dog saw thousands of angry dogs growling back at her. What we see in the world around us is a reflection of who WE are. Earl Nightingale said we all have the life we deserve. The attitudes of others towards us are merely a reflection of our own attitude towards ourselves and toward others. We choose to surround ourselves by loving and cooperative people by simply being loving and cooperative ourselves! The power is in our hands.

Another story I saw recently a NYC Taxi driver wrote: I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes, I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked OldLadyTaxicabup to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. ‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’ ‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’ ‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.. ‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small Reminderconvalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse. ‘Nothing,’ I said ‘You have to make a living,’ she answered. ‘There are other passengers,’ I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.  She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light… Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life…

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

I encourage you to add some kindness this week. Begin with the person in the mirror.
kindness
It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second. – John Steinbeck

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2 thoughts on “Week – #16 Random Acts of Kindness and more

  1. Sir. No doubt, I have found great insight and deep knowledge in your presentations. I have started going over it again but suddenly discovered that I did not save #1-15. I will be delighted if you can mail them to me. It has been thought provoking and highly informative. I enjoy it all. Thanks. Ola San.

    Sent from my iPad

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