Do you remember the Foundation For A Better Life commercials encouraging people to “Pass It On?” There was one where a young guy in an ad goes the extra mile to give the lady her purse back; watch it here, its pretty commendable. How many of us would go that far for a stranger? The other day, I experienced kindness from a stranger too. Somehow I managed to lose my wallet and of course I only realized this while I was hurrying out the door to Holy Thursday mass. For a brief moment of panic, I didn’t know whether to go and trace back my steps immediately or just go straight to mass. I decided that my wallet would have to wait; maybe it’s Catholic guilt or simply prioritizing what I thought was more important, but I hurried along to church praying to God that I would find it afterwards. I did.
I had left it at the Starbucks I was at earlier in the afternoon and once the barista saw me, she knew what i was looking for. She told me a customer had turned it in. I was so incredibly grateful for their kindness. I mean this is Chicago and even though there are lots of good people here, it’s still a city, and losing anything often means kissing it goodbye. But people had chosen to be kind and honest and to do the right thing here, and that just makes me have a little more faith in humanity. It also makes me feel that I ought to pass on some kindness to the world.
I do think everywhere you go, most people are decent enough; they don’t want to cause other people harm for the most part. But in between the busyness of our lives, many of us don’t really see people around us and forget to treat them with kindness; I know I do sometimes. We’re all very self-centered and think that as we go about our day, the world should cater to us. And we forget that we have so many people around us who need a helping hand, a kind deed, a positive thought or word, or even just a smile and silent prayer to help lift their spirits.
Kindness is one of those things that really stands out when you experience it and when you’re part of giving someone else that experience, you feel a sense of accomplishment. In a small or big way at a particular time, you’ve made someone’s life easier. So, maybe you don’t always have the time, the resources or the opportunity to go out of your way to help others. But what about those around you? Do you show them kindness? Because it’s something we could all use once in while; kindness makes breathing easier. So this is just my tip to you today – kindness: pass it on.