I pull into the parking lot behind the building where I’ll be attending a meeting scheduled to run till 3:30 that afternoon.
A commissionaire is already on hand writing a parking ticket for some poor soul. As I step out of my car to feed the meter for the day, he calls across the lot asking, “Are you staying long?” “About six hours,” is my reply.
He stops writing the ticket, and crosses over to tell me that there are a couple of meters in the lot that aren’t working. If I park at one of those, I can do so all day long for free.
He suggests I get back in the car, and he’ll guide me to one of the freebies. I do, and he does.
I express my thanks. His reply, “Glad I was here to help you out!” And off he goes.
As I turn the corner from the parking lot headed for my meeting, Billy (not his real name) approaches. Billy is one of our town’s regular street folks. I’ve seen him many times over the years in many places. It’s a chilly morning, and he asks for cash for a cup of coffee.
Still grinning from the generosity shown by the commissionaire (and with an extra ten dollars in my pocket that didn’t get dropped into the meter), I tell Billy I’ll do better than that. I walk him over to a nearby coffee shop and order him coffee and toast, treating him to a half hour of warmth and nourishment.
Action: I thought I was attending a meeting that morning, but in fact, life had a lesson to deliver first.
I saw, and experienced, how easily one act of kindness prompts another. When treated well ourselves, we are much more likely to extend that grace and generosity to others. Of course we need not wait. We can always make the first move.
What chain reaction might you set in motion today as you go about your work and life? Be on the lookout for an opportunity, and light a spark. There’s no predicting where it might end.
A smile, a kind word, a helpful act. They all matter, and so do you!
Quotes Of The Week: A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. – Saint Basil
Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. – Scott Adams
Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world. – Annie Lennox
You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. – John Wooden
Resource Of The Week: Anecdotal evidence – one experience here and another there – is one thing. But, researchers are finding that some things truly are contagious. This study found that Kindness Breeds More Kindness.
Readers Write: In response to last week’s message, Get Out There And Play, Pause reader YD writes: I trail run outside almost everyday. Often, I leave home worried with unanswered questions, timing issues, contractual difficulties, scheduling challenges. Every single time, within 5 minutes, these are gone – evaporated. The brain has switched off, hypnotized by the regular rhythm of my running shoes on the trail’s dirt and the inhale-exhale cycles. Focused on avoiding the roots and rocks and water, I let go and become creative. The funny thing is that when I get back home, these worries are usually gone for good. Lost on a Gatineau Park dirt trail, somewhere…