Last week, I was driving south of Atlanta in a very diverse area. I walked into a busy convenience store to pay for gasoline. The clerk was behind a glass barrier, and I noticed something very interesting. Despite the steady stream of people who were coming in to purchase beer, lottery tickets, pay for gas, this clerk took the time to look each person in the eye and smile. When it was my turn, not only did I see his smile, I felt it through the glass and all. The energy of that smile was intense. I left there feeling quite blessed to have chosen that gas station and I thought about the important work that clerk was doing, not in a temple, but in a gas station.
We create some interesting walls for ourselves. I know there was a time in my past that I thought that people would think it was strange if I hugged them. I know there have been times when I thought it would be inappropriate to smile to someone I didn’t know. And I know there have been places that I was too afraid to speak to the “strangers” around me. How silly it was for me to create these barriers and how long it has taken me to tear them down. May any walls I have remaining be transparent so that love and kindness can penetrate through…ashe.
This is something so great to think about during the holiday season. If we all started thinking in terms of acts of kindness this season instead of material gift giving I only imagine what form of shift our world would take on. I think most of us have grown up with the give and take mentality. When dealing with kindness, or acts from the heart, we may not always see an immediate return of kindness. Instead it may come at another time, when we least expect it, but most need it. It is important though to separate our expectations of what we may or may not get in return for our acts of kindness.
We need to make the shift to just doing kind things for the sake of it; for positivity; for love; for the change we wish to see. This can start by making simple eye contact with the complete strangers we pass each day, writing our loved ones little notes of appreciation, smiling more, or learning to let ourselves relax. These simple things have the power to ripple out into the universe at a much, much greater volume.