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Monday, November 12, 2007

Random Acts Of Kindness

By Dianne Lehmann

Off and on there will be a great deal of talk about random acts of kindness. I think that too much attention is given to grandiose actions. What really matters, in my opinion, are the many small kind actions that we can perform on a daily basis.

Why does a self-serving billionaire have to give a young boy a check for $25,000.00 on a national television show to get our attention? Shouldn't we all pay more attention to the little things we can do each day to make our lives and the lives of others better?

In the hurry up world of today, common courtesy is not really so common any more. Standing in line at the grocery store, all too often I see people purposely ignoring the little old lady or the young woman with children in tow who just have a couple items. How much could it hurt to let them go ahead of you? Will the extra couple of minutes spent in line completely ruin your day?

I realize that much of the indifference is due to there being too many people and too many stimuli in our daily lives. The prospect of sensory overload is a real issue. But a little more connectedness with the world and all who inhabit it can go a long way toward healing the spirit. It can improve your life and how you feel about yourself. Don't be ashamed to pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for giving up your place in line.

Try holding a door for someone. Look a stranger in the eyes and smile. Give someone a cheerful hello and a wave as you pass on the sidewalk. Believe it or not, these are all acts of kindness. The Golden Rule has been much talked about for a very long time. To me it is still valid: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." Some day when you are feeling really down and a stranger looks you in the eyes and smiles, and suddenly you feel a little better, you will be glad that you, too, have shown others this kindness.

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