I was reading my weekly update from The Good News Network and noticed that we’re midway through Random Acts of Kindness Week. Celebrating RAK Week beginning on Valentine’s Day makes sense. However, bringing awareness to how we treat others in the little moments when we think no one is paying attention, such as everyday encounters in our homes, on the street, or in places of business, is something we can notice each and every day.
I know it’s very easy for me to get wrapped up in my thoughts while out and about and neglect to greet the cashier or the bank teller with a friendly smile and a “hello.” However, it bears looking at how often I’m caught up in the past or the future and missing out on the “present” moment. Not to guilt trip myself, but just notice. As soon as I notice, I can choose again. I can engage the person standing next to me in line—or not. Such a simple thing as a smile and a hello with caring eyes can uplift the day for someone who may have been caught up in their past or an imagined fearful future.
When looking into other people’s NDE’s (near death experiences), over and over again it seemed the person came back with information that changed their behavior from that point on, once they realized that the little things in life could be more significant spiritually than they realized. In one instance, a world-renowned musician had an NDE in which she was informed that the most spiritually significant moment in her life so far was when she was a teenaged volunteer in her local hospital and she helped an elderly woman with a warm smile. Imagine that you travel the world playing music, or doing whatever you do, and meet many people over the years, yet you learn that an encounter from your childhood that you never gave another thought held spiritual significance.
Now when I review my day, I like to take note of how I treated the people around me. Did I act any differently in the company of the city’s mayor than the grocery store clerk? Was I caught up in my head or smiling and sending loving thoughts to those around me? Did I greet each person with whom I interacted with a smile and make eye contact? Was I kind to my husband?
I can always improve, yet I can love and accept myself where I am. As I raise awareness, it’s about being willing to change for the better, not about beating myself up. How about being kind to myself? It always seems to be easier to be naturally kind to others when I’m kind to myself first.
Hope you enjoy the rest of RAK Week and perhaps extend it? See Random Acts of Kindness Foundation for kindness ideas and stories.