Sitting on a rock today, overlooking the serenity of the bay - boats anchored in mist, seals diving for food, gulls circling overhead, I began to contemplate how the simple act of kindness from others towards me has profoundly affected my journey. As I have traveled up the Atlantic Coast, their have been many occasions where I found myself in genuine need of and extraordinary act of kindness; each and every time gifts of kindness were bestowed upon me. At other times, acts of kindness appeared out of the blue, random and much appreciated gifts from Spirit. Whether in need or not, each act had the same affect on me, complete joy in my journey and a strong and endearing faith in the kindness of man..
Many of these acts of kindness involved people opening up their homes to a complete stranger, paddling around North America in a simple orange, now blue, kayak. Often tired, dirty and somewhat smelly, I was more often than not, quite a sight. These warm, caring, loving people, did not have to open up their houses - but they did. I never once asked for these gifts, they were just given to me from the heart and soul. On most occasions I was taken in by people I did not know, immediately fed wonderful food and offered showers, shelter, and a soft warm bed. Many of these people had young children in their homes; what a wonderful lesson this was for those old enough to understand; parents being kind to complete strangers, no sense of fear or doubt in their minds, simply what you are supposed to do for your fellow man.
Mainstream American media would have you believe that everyone you don't know is a stranger and a threat to you and your family. They constantly tell stories of tragedies that involve an innocent person and someone they did not know. The message they push is nothing more than Fear. It is a sad time when the vast majority of people in this country would hesitate to give a stranger a ride to the grocery store or heaven forbid, invite them into their homes for a warm meal and the comfort of shelter.
I am here to reinforce the truth; good people are out there and they are waiting for your simple act of kindness to change their life. We each have the power to dramatically change the world through these acts of kindness and compassion. This is such a powerful concept that Michael J. Chase has written a book, 'am I being kind' and started a foundation called The Kindness Center that he uses to spread the word. His belief that kindess can not only make you a better, happier and more compassionate person, but it also has the benefit of empowering others. Those who receive your act of kindness are dramatically changed; their view of the world slowy begins to brighten. If we all partook in true unconditional acts of kindness, imagine the change we could make in our society.
Poverty, homelessness, descrimination, violence, all of these things would begin to wane. Most of us, even in tough times have more than enough to give to others less fortunate. I live on Peanut Butter and Oats, yet still give whatever is in my pockets to those in need. If it is change then they get that, if it is a $20 bill, they get that, in all cases I simply give because it is in my power to do so. My belief that others are more in need than myself, and my simple acts of giving and acts of kindness bring me more joy than anything else in life other than my children and my family.
My challenge to you is simple. Make kindness a way of life, make it your passion and one of your missions each and every day. Make these acts of kindness random and always unconditional. For it is in the spirit of unconditional giving that we can receive an incredible sense of joy. Start small, find someone today and simply do something nice for them. Better yet, make sure it is someone that is unknown to you and maybe even someone that you normally would avoid. Watch the surprise, hesitation and then happiness that spreads across their face.
We can all change the world, it really can be done and it really is that simple. One act of kindness at a time.
Peace & Love,
am I being kind - Michael J. Chase, Founder of The Kindness Center