Acts of kindness make my heart swell with happiness, whether I’m the benefactor or the recipient. Even if I’m not involved directly, but I witness a small deed of kindness I feel happy.
A few years ago Scotland had a really bad winter. Temperatures plummeted to -13 in some areas, the snow had frozen, and the air was freezing and landing. I wrote about it at the time and published this picture.
One evening I ventured round to our local shop to buy cat litter, and after I paid for my two 5kg bags I noticed an old lady who had been served by another till operator with a bag of cat litter too. She was a frail, wrinkled old lady, who took tiny footsteps to keep balance, yet still wobbled as she walked. I sparked up a conversation and offered to carry the cat litter home for her. She graciously accepted and we started out the shop, in the opposite direction from my house.
Our journey to her house was slow. I imagine it would have been anyway, even if we weren’t contending with the frozen snow and sub-zero temperatures, due to her tiny un-assured foot steps. The duration of the journey was probably emphasized by the fact I was carrying 3 bags of cat litter that became heavy after 1 minute of leaving the store. I can’t believe the lady made the journey round in the first place, she lived about double the distance from the shop as I did! We chatted as we walked, and she seemed grateful of the help.
When I left for the shop I had enough time to return with my shopping and catch the start of my favourite TV programme. When I actually returned from the shop I entered my house and caught the finishing song of my favourite TV show.
No matter; I was happy. Kindness is always a good thing, no matter what shape or form it takes. My unintentional self-sacrifice made me happy. I know it wasn’t a completely selfless act as I took joy from the experience, but I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make. Being kind to other people is not only good for them. It is good for you and for your soul.
Humans are inherently kind natured. We like to love and we like to be loved. This doesn’t have to stop within your own circle of friends. Being kind to strangers is like extending an arm of friendship and love, even if the encounter is a short one.
People think that kindness should be a selfless act. I agree that kindness shouldn’t be done to receive gratitude from the other person. The thing is; it’s hard to not feel gratitude yourself. I can’t explain why. You just get this warm fuzzy feeling inside and a smile on your face. It really is nice to be nice.