I’ve noticed that when people receive even a small kindness they sometimes cry – not the expected reaction. Is this because they’re profoundly touched, or are they touched because the gift was so rare? In The Power of Kindness, Ferruci states: “When a person has felt coldness and finds warmth, it is like life has infinitely more possibilities.”
Perhaps we’re so bruised from daily combat that subconsciously we feel undeserving. Whatever the case, the rare gem of selflessness that finds us is golden. Its brilliance is almost too much for us to bear. When growing up, the majority of what we hear is negative: in an abusive household, the non-affirmations are non-stop.
The pressure cooker of work can leave us permanently scarred. The severity gives us pause regarding what’s a social problem. I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “Practice random acts of kindness.” If kindness was a constant, this type of exhortation would be unneeded. Compassionate acts have become the Holy Grail at work – treasured, yet elusive.
If we stopped to put others before ourselves, to pause to consider how they would feel if placed in a similar situation, then kindness’ occurrence would become more automatic – like second nature, instead of the awkward practice of a foreign language. In the spirit of pay it forward, kindness begets kindness, and a willingness to help others along. It’s the filament in the connective tissue of our relationships, which are many times shattered in the wake of sparring at work.
We can do better. Is there an unexpected act you can perform that would make someone’s day? This would not only make the recipients feel better, but you as well. We are the accumulation of a lifetime of choices. Choose this day to leave someone with an unexpected treasure.