The first time I skipped a rock across the pond in my backyard, I stared at its effects, mesmerized by the ripples. I remember wondering if the concentric circles would reach the bank on the other side. There was a beauty in the way new rings grew from the first one, where my stone initially gleamed the water’s surface before bouncing on to impact a new spot.
Remember the last time you had a bad day and the littlest thing could set you off? By the same token, do you remember how the tiniest of things could brighten your mood when all else felt like it wasn’t going your way?
There was a time when I was alone, visiting a new city for the first time. I was sitting toward the middle of a bus when I watched an elderly lady with a flushed face crossing the street as quickly as her walker would allow. She was so grateful for the bus driver who waited for her to board.
I watched this same lady drop something as she fished for change in her purse. Believing it was only lint, I thought nothing more of it. When I reached my stop, I exited the bus the same way the lady with the walker had entered. I stooped down, realizing it was a book of stamps and not lint that been dropped. I handed it back to her and she was again very grateful.
The bus driver and I didn’t have to do what we did but we chose to out of genuine respect for others. We weren’t thinking about acknowledgments but seeking to do what’s right.
The sad thing was how surprised the lady sounded as she thanked me for returning her stamp book. While it may cost an insignificant amount for some, to that lady the stamp book could have met the difference between buying a loaf of bread at the grocery store.
Her shock at my helpfulness reminds me that there aren’t enough acts of kindness taking place anymore. We have become so focused on our own lives and the busy schedules we lead. Actually, we’ve become too stingy in dishing out blessings. We often forget to take time to appreciate each other and the small things in life. Money may not grow on trees, but we can provide limitless blessings to others. After all, blessings come in all shapes and sizes.
When you say or do something for another person, the influence of these words or actions can be enough to inspire that same individual to reciprocate the benevolence. Like the rock I skipped across water, the more people’s lives I touch, the greater number and reach of the circles of kindness. And the more a rock skips, the more ripples it creates. Let us imitate that rock and never stop skipping. Let us be that center circle from which the others grow.