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 Buscaglia

Monday, April 2, 2012

Some Reflections

     I spent a couple of hours this morning working with a friend to help him get greater clarity around some challenging business questions.  This was a continuation of some work we had done previously and, though we're making progress, there's more left for us to do.  This type of mental work can be very tiring, but the ultimate result can be very rewarding.
     As I began this project more than 3 months ago, it hadn't really occurred to me how totally different my acts of kindness might be.  I don't think I really gave it much thought.  As I look back now though, I'm struck by the amazing variety of types of acts.  I've shoveled snow and picked up garbage.  I've written thank you notes and sent people books.  I've given flowers and gift cards to strangers and I've baked cookies.  I've made dinners and I've anonymously bought people dessert.  I've helped seniors and I've bought supplies for teen mothers.  I've delivered hot chocolate to school crossing guards and I've produced PowerPoint flash cards for a teacher.  I've adopted a soldier and I've written to sick children.  I've driven patients to their doctors' appointments and I've given directions to strangers.   
     Each has its own feeling and provides its own satisfaction.  Using my brain, like I did today, is rewarding for me because I get to employ one of the skills that I've cultivated over time.  And yet, in a totally different way, shoveling a neighbor's driveway was equally rewarding because it really saved them significant hardship.  Giving flowers to a stranger is fun because it unexpectedly brings a huge smile; while sending a book anonymously is exciting just to imagine the reaction it likely created for the recipient.  
     I suppose what I'm enjoying most is the total freedom to do whatever strikes me as appropriate on any given day, with no particular agenda or point to prove, other than to spread kindness wherever I go.

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