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Mariage and Family

Random Acts of Kindness

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07/01/2011 - Can you remember the last time someone treated you very poorly? Maybe it was someone you were close to and trusted. Or it could have been a complete stranger who was obviously having a very bad day. It could have been done unintentionally, or that person may have been looking to make someone as miserable as they were. What was the result? Did it cost you financially or eat up precious time? Sometimes these acts can range from a mere inconvenience to requiring much effort to resolve.

Can you remember a time when someone did something for you that came purely out the kindness of their heart? Often, these are the moments that are hardest to recall. I remember when I was little I was in a grocery store with my mother. My mom allowed me to ride one of the penny rides near the front while she picked up a few items. Sadly, with those rides, you get what you pay for. My ride was over in about a minute when an elderly man walked by and just put another penny in the machine and walked away. For some reason, I remember that to this day. I remember thinking he was probably an angel because I could never find him in the store later to thank him. Unfortunately, since we live in a world plagued with this disease of selfishness, we will most likely experience more poor treatment than those little random acts of kindness. But those little things matter and can make huge differences.

The selfish attitude says, "IF you rub my back, I MIGHT rub yours." Another one I hear in my practice is, "If you want respect, you have to give respect." While there is some truth to this statement, the problem lies in an attitude of "I will give no respect unless you respect me first." Somehow we seem to miss the true attitude behind this which is that it is up to you to give respect if you hope to have any. If we wait on others to act first, we will all be sitting around with no one doing anything. Everyone would be building up feelings of defensiveness and resentment, only because the other person is doing the same thing we are.

We must do away with these attitudes and adopt the mindset of freely giving to others through small acts of kindness. We can break this cycle by selflessly choosing to act first. In a recent wedding, my pastor told a story of an elderly couple recounting their years together. They stated that over the years they had only gotten into one argument, and this occurred on their honeymoon. They argued over who loved each other most and spent the rest of their years trying to prove the other wrong. I wonder how our society would look if we all competed with one another, attempting to outdo each other with acts of kindness. Give it a shot, lets see!

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