Have you ever tried changing lanes on the LA freeway system? Fought for a parking space at Costco on a weekend day? Waited in line only to have someone jump in front of you and had to say “Excuse, but I think I was next???” If you have, and have had those experiences repeatedly as I have, then you will understand why I say that I never expected our world to be a particularly kind place. Each man for himself. Survival of the fittest. Dog eat dog and so on.
It turns out that I was wrong. Our world is filled with kind people. I know this because I am the beneficiary of random acts of kindness from complete strangers almost every day of my life. Living with a disability has taught me that.
My disability has progressed as my disease has. In time I needed a cane, then a walker and now use a wheelchair from time to time. As my disability became more visible to the outside world, I began experiencing more and more of these acts of kindness.
I used to travel for work and often someone, a complete stranger, would see my awkwardness, grab my bags and help me get on or off a shuttle to or from the airport. One day I was getting in my car and dropped something as I was fumbling with my keys. A stranger driving down the street pulled over, jumped out of his car and handed me the dropped items. Random acts of kindness from complete strangers. WOW!
These repeated experiences have completely changed my view. The world is filled with kind people who are willing and ready to help a stranger. Random acts of kindness are much more common than I ever dreamed of and as the beneficiary, I make it a point to acknowledge and thank these people from the bottom of my heart.
But kindness is often more than performing a simple task or favor. Kindness reveals itself in many different ways. It may be in the form of an anonymous donation to a cause or simply picking up an item at a store for someone because it may be wanted or needed.
Kindness can be the act of just listening to a loved one or a complete stranger who just needs to be heard or get something off their chest. It could be as simple as saying “hello” and “how are you” to someone who rarely gets asked at their job or work, like a cashier or bank teller or someone working behind the counter at a fast food franchise.
Kindness reveals itself in a thousand different ways. But it always is a selfless act that for at least a moment, makes someone else’s life better. I know. Acts of kindness continue to fill every day of my life.
I have learned to expect the best from people and am rarely ever disappointed. There are times when I need help and today I am confident that I always can and will always find it. It turns out that the human race is a pretty good one to be a part of. My faith is restored. Kind people are kind people and there are plenty of them.
That has been my experience. What is your experience? Is the world a kind place? Or is it cruel? Do people really care about their fellow man? I would love to know about your experiences.
Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.