During the holiday season, the media surrounds people with the concepts of giving, kindness, charity, and goodwill. People should spread these ideas year round, not just a few weeks out of the year. To me, giving without expecting anything in return is the true form of kindness. Acting with one’s heart and dedicating a piece of you indicates a true act of kindness. These gestures do not have to be grand or flashy; true acts of love are usually the smallest of gestures.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” Some help others, but expect something in return. There are people who offer their aid, but then broadcast it for others to commend them. These are not true givers. If you are looking for praise or a favor in return, you have not given from your heart; you gave out of obligation and expectation.
I was in the grocery store with a full basket and there was an elderly woman behind me holding two items. I let her skip me in line, allowing her to check out first. She asked me three times if I was sure and was genuinely surprised that I let her pass me in line. I did not think this was a big deal at all: I was not in a rush, had nowhere to be, and figured, if I only had two items I would want to skip the person with over 20 items. To me it was a simple decision. To her it meant more. I do not know if she was tired, in pain, or in a rush; maybe it did not make a difference in her day at all. That did not matter to me because I simply wanted to do something nice. Small acts like that can make the biggest difference.
My younger brother has the universal blood type, type O negative. Once he learned this information, he donates blood every chance he gets. When I found this out, I could not have been more proud. Something so routine to him is making a difference somewhere.
Kindness is not only for strangers. Too many times, we forget to be kind and loving to the ones closest to us. Show your love by helping a family member, spouse, neighbor, or coworker. Babysit on a short notice, cook dinner for your spouse when they spent all day working, bring in a coffee for your coworker, or help a neighbor rake their yard. The possibilities are endless! So, take the time to show your appreciation for the ones you love. Do not wait until it is too late to show love, kindness, and compassion. Tomorrow is promised to no one.