The best portion of a good person’s life,–
Their little nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.-William Wordsworth
A few years ago, I was disappointed when the books about “Random Acts of Kindness” came out. If you didn’t see them, they were full of stories about people’s acts of kindness to others, all nicely documented for the rest of us to read.
I was disappointed because writing them down seemed to diminish them. They no longer were “unremembered,” and they had lost their purity, so to speak, by now being in written form for others to read and judge. If I do a nice act today, I don’t want to remember it for the rest of my life–I want to move on tomorrow to do a completely new and different kind of action tomorrow, or even later today. Once I start tracking them, they lose their true purpose–sharing kindness with others.
The best portion of our lives can be these nameless acts of kindness and love. We can fill each day with such acts, and it takes very little effort when all is said and done. I can drop a piece of someone’s favorite candy onto his desk without him knowing where it came from, or I can do a little chore for someone else before she even knows she needs to do it. I can give a flower to a stranger or throw someone’s newspaper closer to their front door when I’m taking a walk in the morning. I can give someone the forty-five cents that they’re short in the supermarket, and I can pay the toll for the car behind me if I want to.
Acts of kindness and love don’t have to be expensive, and they don’t have to be flashy. They just have to come from our hearts, and if we can build a better portion of each day on such acts, then definitely the better portion of our lives will have been spent performing acts of kindness and love.
Questions to ponder:
1. What kinds of acts of kindness and love can you perform today?
2. Can you perform such acts without anyone knowing who did them?
What kinds of effects on others do such acts have?
3. Does it matter if anyone remembers your acts of kindness and love?
For further thought:
All the kindness that a person puts out into the world
works on the heart and thoughts of humankind.-Albert Schweitzer