A Little Bit of Kindness
Years ago when houses were constructed, a metal rod was attached to the roof. The lightning rod. The basic explanation given was that it attracted the lightning away from the house so that it wouldn’t be hit and destroyed. So the term lightning rod became a synonym for anything that draws or attracts something.
Do you think there is such a thing as a Cosmic Lightning Rod? Have you ever been hit by bolt after bolt of the same truth? It feels like the universe is sending you a message it really wants you to receive. This has been happening to me.
For quite some time, everywhere I turned I kept (metaphorically) bumping into Kindness. And yes, this is kindness with a capital K. The stuff that is constituted by a small act and yet, in the bigger picture has much greater ramifications. A kind of ripple effect. I was hearing about it from so many places that I googled it to see if a kindness campaign or something of the sort was underway. That brought me to a book ironically enough called The Kindness Revolution. The book is based on customer service in American industry. Maybe not the exact definition of light or fanciful reading, but it is fascinating. Instead of focusing on profits or expansion, the companies in this book are the ones who do the right thing even when it costs them. The book has inspired a movement called the Kindness Revolution based out of Tennessee. It is sponsored and funded solely by companies who are encouraging those around them to pay it forward. They reward people for acts of kindness; send encouragement through social media and other avenues to remind people to be kind to one another.
One event hosted by this non-profit was a donut give-away. Customers in a local donut shop would place their order, and when they pulled out their wallet to pay, they were told the only cost to them was to do something kind for someone else. People were interviewed afterward and asked how they felt. The vast majority were ready and eager to go out and do something nice for someone else. Truly inspiring.
A couple of days after that I came across a quote by the Dalai Lama "This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." There it was again.
And then this morning I heard one of the best sermons of my life. Our preacher was talking about fear and anxiety in this current state of affairs. It was all so completely on point it was disconcerting, but then the gears switched. Although kindness certainly wasn’t the theme of the homily today, it was shining like a beacon out of the midst of all the talk of anxiety and fear. The message ended with the idea that when we can lay down our angst and trepidation, we can pick up the qualities God really wants us to have: love, hope, kindness.
And really that’s what kindness always does, doesn’t it? No matter how bad the circumstances are or how ____ (fill in the blank) we feel, kindness, no matter how small, always shines through.
So while it feels like everywhere around the globe is going down in flames, and there seems to be nothing but hatred and fear and anxiety surrounding us, there might be something we can do. Even one act of kindness can start a chain reaction that can change the world.