Interesting thing happened today [December 16, 2010]. I started off the day in my semi-new way; I set up the day with an intention. I’ve have been doing this for the last two weeks. So today was like any other day (when it began.) Today’s intention was kindness. The goal was to be kind and to experience a kind day. By the afternoon I began to see, feel and experience kindness.
The first things I noticed (I live in New York City), was how kind everyone was. So many people opened the door for me, gave up a seat for me, said please and thank you, wished me happy holidays, complimented me or smiled at me. After this I thought, “Wow, am I experiencing more kindness than usual? Or is this a normal day for me? If so, this would mean that kindness towards me usually goes unseen and unacknowledged? Woh.” This thought made me think about the morning. Earlier this morning, a friend of mine ate breakfast with me, packed me a snack for lunch, let me borrow a scarf and asked me if I had subway fare on hand. Did these kind gestures really sink in? Did I acknowledge them fully? They were very kind and thoughtful, yet they passed in my day as quickly as the morning. I was beginning to see how much kindness I experience in my life and how much of it goes unacknowledged or unseen. This was a huge eye opener.
By 1pm in the afternoon I had experienced more kindness then I can type! Then came more. I met a friend at a cafe. The first thing out of their mouth was, “Here, this is for you.” Believe it or not, it was $100 dollar bill. I said, “What is this for?” They said it was for me and nothing more. No ulterior motive, no favor, no expectation, just a loving gift because they wanted to. Just a kind and generous gesture. Now, if this was any other day I would be thinking, “Hmmmm… no way am I taking this money, no one is this kind for nothing”, or “Why are they giving me this? This is crazy. They don’t have extra money to give.” I would feel totally guilty for accepting the gift and I would have refused it. But, today was different. I already spent most of the day experiencing people’s acts of random kindness. Giving generously and being kind was something that felt in line with being a human being. I guess this is just part of who we are. Our job is to be part of human-kind. No wonder the words being and kind are linked to the word human. Being kind is part of being human. So I accepted with heartfelt thanks the kind monetary gift I was given.
My heart began to glow. I was overwhelmed with feelings of kindness. Interesting that the day began with just me wanting to be kind and in return I saw the whole world as kind. I began the day with the desire to treat others with kindness and in return (before I even started it!), I was treated with unconditional kindness and generosity. How powerful this was to see. What a lesson it was for me. Gandhi’s quote stands so clear in my mind right now, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” –But maybe what we want to see is already there. We just have to be it in order to see it.