Kindness Lives and Breathes in NYC
As a little girl my grandparents took me into New York City to see the Broadway show, Pippin. As we were walking hand-in-hand, I saw my first ever homeless man. He asked for money and held a sign saying he was hungry. I was seven.
I asked my grandfather for one dollar and he gave it to me. I broke free and ran back to the homeless man to give him the dollar.
I got in big trouble for running away in the middle of New York City, but all I remember is that I could not bear the idea that a man was hungry as I walked past him with a full belly, a nice outfit, and a Broadway show awaiting me.
I Haven’t Changed
Last week, I travelled for work. As our group sat at an outdoor spot, a homeless man approached and asked for money. My inner seven-year old jumped up, grabbed my handbag, and ran after him.
The people at the table may have thought me mad. Some homeless people are scammers. Others are in desperate need of help. I prefer to err on the side of being scammed for the opportunity to make a real change in someone’s life.
Kindness is Everywhere
A few years ago, I was driving through Atlanta, Georgia on a frigid day. The cold was so intense that it hurt my hands to hold the steering wheel. The wind was whipping around and I thought my car might take flight.
Suddenly, I saw a woman in the middle of the street. She was thin as a rail and had no coat. The pain of the cold was painted on her face. She looked desperate. She looked like the cold was KILLING HER.
I needed to give her my coat. I had heat and a roof over my head. I could buy another coat, but this woman would not have made it through the night without a measure of warmth.
I was on a one-way street and made a u-turn to go back to her. When I reached the spot, she was gone. I circled round again to try and find her.
Finally, after three circles I gave up. She was gone. Or so I thought.
I rounded the corner kicking myself for not finding her and out of the blue, I spotted her.
She was sitting on a park bench outside a bank with an enormous coat wrapped around her. A man sat next to her and was talking with her. He wasn’t wearing a coat…because he’d given his to her.
The World is Beautiful
I pulled over and watched the power of kindness unfold. I watched as the woman warmed up and smiled at her benefactor. I thanked the heavens for him.
And I understood that the kind walk among us all day, every day. I am far from the only one who believes everyday acts of love can change the world.
That is beautiful. Kindness changed three lives that day. I got to witness someone else whose mission in life changed when he saw suffering. What a gift!
Be the change you wish to see in the world. Be not swayed by others who judge your soft heart. Instead, pray that their hearts soften too.
The softer our hearts become, the closer to the divine we get.