Random Acts of Kindness
I talk a lot about kindness in my blogs. It is because I think it is as important to life as water. And yet, like losing sight of the importance of water when you live in a house where it comes out of a tap, I think it is really easy to lose sight of the value of small kindnesses.
Perhaps growing up in an abusive environment has made me really appreciate kindness. If that's the case, then I am glad for that experience. I still remember what it felt like to be touched kindly by camp counselors when I was thirteen years old. I remember driving through a toll booth and discovering that the unknown person ahead of me had paid my toll. I remember all the trail angels who have provided me with food, shelter, and kind words. To be honest, these people have done me so much more good than any paid therapist has ever done for me.
I have been warmed by thanks I have received from people when I have been kind to them. I really think it is in our nature to be kind. It makes us feel good. It is too bad that it often takes a disaster to bring out this quality in full.
I have decided that in my obituary I want it written, "In lieu of flowers or donations, I want each person who cared about me to go out into the world and do at least one random act of kindness. And I ask that you thank someone for being kind to you."
Trail angels, above: A bicyclist who offered Mary a free overnight stay; a driver who offered her a pair of gloves; a water cache in the desert.