The Miracle of Kindness

The Miracle of Kindess

The Miracle of Kindness by Karen Jolly

“I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love. You can find it in a simple act of kindness toward someone who needs help. There is no mistaking love…it is the common fiber of life, the flame that heats our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives.”  ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

When Debra Oakland, founder of Living in Courage, asked me to participate in her April newsletter by writing about kindness, I knew it would bring a gift. Kindness always does. The gift came to me as I remembered two wonderful stories of kindness that still touch me so deeply.

About 15 years ago, my husband Wes and I were under a lot of pressure with a communications business we owned. One particularly stressful afternoon, Weston was heading back from a client’s office to meet me for lunch. It was January and the weather had turned quite cold for Arizona.

As he drove along a busy thoroughfare in downtown Phoenix, Wes noticed a man walking along the other side of the street, bracing against the cold wind, without a jacket. As he passed the man, he heard a voice within say, “turn around.” Startled, Wes made an abrupt U-turn. Then he heard the same voice say, “take off your shoes.”

Only then did Wes see that the man on the sidewalk was barefoot. He made his way quickly across the lanes of traffic and pulled to the side of the road. With horns honking and cars speeding by, Wes pulled off his shoes, rolled down his window and asked the man if he could use the shoes. The man looked so relieved, slid the shoes on and said they felt warm and fit perfectly.  Smiling, Wes hurriedly steered back into traffic. Glancing back at the man through the rear view mirror, the tears began to fill Wes’s eyes.  He had been in such a hurry, he hadn’t even thought to offer the man his socks or his coat.

At lunch we both cried, as he told me what happened and we realized how caught up we had become with our problems. That small act of kindness woke us up to feeling deep gratitude again. It was exactly what we needed, just as it was exactly what that man needed in the moment.

There is nothing that can bring us back to the peace and comfort of love like a random act of kindness. It is the fabric by which we remember how unequivocally we are all connected.

In our old neighborhood, Alec, who lived on the same street, used to go for long walks in the early mornings for exercise. Alec was a very quiet, older gentleman, who would sometimes sit out on his front porch and share stories with me. This is one I never forgot.

For several weeks, on his morning walk, Alec observed a woman sleeping on the ground, in a hidden corner, behind some shops. He felt upset about her being out there alone, but he admitted that he was afraid of homeless people and so he kept his distance. Day after day, Alec became more unsettled about seeing this woman and knew in his heart he needed to do something for her. Finally, one morning he put some money in an envelope, stuffed it in a pocket and set out to give it to her.

Alec paced at the corner where she was sitting for several minutes, then gathered up his courage and introduced himself. The woman leapt to her feet, her whole face beaming with joy.  She said she was delighted to meet him and instantly asked if he would like to join her for breakfast.

Alec stood there, mouth wide open, speechless. He had envisioned himself simply handing her the money and walking away. Much to his amazement, the woman then grabbed his arm and showed him a box of donuts she had discovered that morning in a trash bin behind the bakery.  Alec was so uncomfortable as he stared at the box of day old donuts, that without saying a word, he simply handed her the wad of money he had in his pocket.

The woman looked confused and said, “I don’t need your money. I just want a friend to share breakfast with this morning.” Then ginning from ear to ear, she said, “I have everything I need.”

Alec told me that he felt so ashamed of himself in that moment. Here he had set out to do a kindness toward this woman, who in his mind had nothing to give him and instead, she had offered him one of the richest gifts of all, her friendship.

Acts of kindness are humbling experiences. They are never one sided – everyone benefits. It only requires us taking action when our hearts call on us. We may have absolutely no idea what we are setting in motion with that act. It is something we just have to trust.  That is the beauty of a random act of kindness…it always gives us the profound opportunity to be a part of a miracle.

Karen Jolly is the Founder of Minute Mindset, and Karen’s voice and expressions evoke change. She has over 15 years experience guiding people to improve their lives by improving their mindsets. As a certified hypnotherapist and spiritual counselor she has helped countless individuals to create change through the power of the mind.

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Twitter: @MinuteMindset