“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ” (Leo F. Buscaglia) A simple act of kindness can ease one’s fears, touch one’s heart, and rekindle one’s faith in humanity. Kind behavior is among one of the most significant features a human can possess, however, as our lives become cluttered with all the burdens of our society, it becomes easy to lose track of what we live for.
When my teacher presented the three acts of kindness project to us, I started to question whether I have been selfish or selfless in my everyday motives. I came to realize that performing random acts of kindness is something that needs to be incorporated more in my life on a regular basis. Therefore, I was eager to get started with my 3 acts. I have fallen guilty to selfish acts more than I am proud to say. I have underestimated the simplicity of taking a couple seconds out of the day, to act on kindness, towards a complete stranger.
With that being said, when I came across a homeless man, leaving Walmart, I had all intentions on doing my first act. As I rolled down the window, to give the man money, I dug through my wallet and realized all I had left was a twenty dollar bill. I looked up to hint I did not have any money, but I could not get myself to tell him no. Along with the sadness and pain you could see in his eyes, there was a sense of hope there as well. I took out the twenty and handed it to him. Never in my life have I been so proud. The warm sensation I got all over, knowing, not only did I shock the man, but I shocked myself, was worth it.
No amount of money would compare to the feeling I had right then. We as humans have a way with losing sight of the little things, that should be the outmost important. For example, until this project was presented, I would overlook the simplest acts of kindness others would do, almost as if I expected them to do it. I started to turn into a person I could not recognize, and would not be proud of. Therefore, I decided to take matters in my own hands. I was on the internet researching and came across a disease called Progeria.
Progeria is a rare genetic condition that produces rapid aging in children. There are less than a hundred kids in the whole world that currently suffer from this condition, making Progeria the rarest of rare diseases. After doing some research over it, I came to a website that allow others to become involved with Progeria fundraising. I decided I wanted to help advance their mission in finding a cure for children with this disease. I followed all the steps by printing out the papers to fill out, sending them back in, and waiting for a phone call.
I received a phone call back and I will be holding a Progeria fundraiser, here in Tyler, Texas, at the beginning of the year. Sometimes people need support and encouragement, from those around them, to be reassured that people do care as do I. One day on my way to school I decided to send out a forward, through text, to everyone in my phonebook. I sent “People will let you down, God never will. ” I had many responses saying I absolutely love that quote and saying how beautiful it was. However, I had one response from a friend saying, how he needed to see that and thank you for sending it.
For a couple days afterwards I sent a different text, along the same lines, every morning to him. I stopped sending the text one morning and did not hear from him for a while. A couple weeks later I woke up one day and have never felt more depressed than I did right then. I had received some news about my health that was not as good as we had hoped. At that moment I just wanted to give up and I was at, what I thought was, the end of the road for me. My phone goes off and I look at it. My guy friend that had thanked me for sending the text before sent me a message saying, “No.
Don’t give up hope just yet. It’s the last thing to go. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope. ” – Pittacus Lore. He told me that something told him to send me a text that morning randomly, like I had done so to him. At that moment I knew there was a reason I sent out those texts to my friends, weeks before. One act of kindness will lead to another act of kindness even if it takes a while. This reassured my faith in humanity by showing there is kindness out in the world.
Though kindness should be unconditional and free from expectation, with only goodwill in mind, this is almost never the case. With these simple acts, we have the power to demolish our arrogant, hateful lifestyles that surrounds us, by potentially turning a life around one by one. These times of contentment could be multiplied if every one would live with a better conscientiousness of those around them. I have come to realize that if you live your life being grateful and are considerate of those around you, your life will be much more prosperous.
Last month, my husband and I had cause to drive from the state in which we live (Indiana) to North Carolina. On the way back, we blew out a tire. This seems to be typical of us, because it is not the first time this has happened while making the trip from North Carolina to the more Northern states. The tires were all new (within the past couple of months) and so we must have driven over something in the road.
It was shortly after one in the morning when we blew the tire out and got onto the side of the road. Until three AM we sat in our car with the engine running and the hazards on. After that, with gas prices on the rise, we turned off the engine and the lights and opened the hood, hoping that someone would see us stopped and call a towing company or some other form of help.
At about four in the morning we were awakened (as we had fallen asleep) by the courtesy patrol. We called AAA and waited for our tow truck to arrive in order to help us.
You see, we don't have a cell phone, and even if our phone was still connected, we would not have had service in the mountains of West Virginia. We were stuck, sleeping in our car with a young child, while large rigs raced past us, making us jolt every single time. The experience was frightening, and in spite of a lot of traffic for that time of the morning, nobody stopped to help us or bothered to call for help.
One simple act of kindness (making a call that we could not) would have changed the course of our entire trip.