I remember when the movie Pay It Forward came out and how it tugged at our heartstrings. A national movement to practice random acts of kindness took off because of it. I’m not sure when it faded from our national attention, but I think many people kept practicing kindness. The smiles, and sometimes tears, returned to the giver were addictive.
What’s so interesting about kindness is that it takes so little effort to make a real difference for others. The effects of our kind acts seem to be multiplied and what we thought was only a smile, or holding a door, becomes more than the act itself. You’ve probably heard the true story of the boy on his way home from school who stopped and helped a classmate pick up his books—the classmate, who was being bullied, was on his way home to kill himself, but because of that one act of kindness, he didn’t and he went on to lead a meaningful life. The effects of kindness are like the ripples radiating from where a rock hits water. The circles widen and encompass everything.
It seems like we’re powerless pawns of corporations and our government, but this isn’t true. How can a business or government capture our spirit? They can take everything material for themselves, but they cannot touch our souls if we don’t let them. In the face of all the negative news, we can practice kindness at school, at work, at play, anywhere and everywhere. Love is the most powerful force in the universe, inspiring us to do good on its behalf. Show them what Love is, it whispers to us. You have the power to change the course of others’ lives. We can be powerful instruments for good.