Kindness of strangers


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There is no way to tell where a person is from just by looking. If you are in a big city anywhere on the planet it has become harder and harder to see who is who and what language they might speak. Having words of any kind on your shirt doesn’t mean you know what they say. It’s the minute you need help that humanity, class and culture come into play.

Some people will not approach certain people out of fear, they are scary looking, sometimes it is their color, or tattoos, piercings, even their gender. Being a woman needing help can make for an interesting minute as you scan the crowd for what might be a kind stranger, some where you hope.

“Excuse me?” Sometimes they stop, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they just didn’t get it or hear you, most of the time its the ‘why are you bothering me look’, as they walk by. We are arrogant in our righteousness as we pass someone needing help. Until we need something…

What we need is the kindness of strangers and funny how the more spiritual work you do, you can see the face of the right one to ask. Woe to those who ask the wrong ones! There needs to be more kindness and less arrogance on this planet. Traveling makes me see too much. But it surly doesn’t keep me from helping someone when they need it, or giving directions even in a foreign language.

I watched today as the Air France flight I was on brought a small child traveling by herself from the back of the plane, where her parent was able to afford a seat, to first class, where she could be properly looked after. On their own they brought her up and kept her calm through the flight, she was 5 flying alone. Wouldn’t you like to know that strangers were being kind to your child, afraid and traveling alone?

I watched as an old woman was trying to get water bottles down from a self, she was struggling and I watched a number of young men pass her as I walked quickly towards her suddenly a gentleman jogged up to help. He didn’t even speak her language, just assisted her, smiled and left. Wouldn’t you like to know your mother/grandmother was being aided wherever she was?

In the first class lounge a man couldn’t be bothered to move his bags as a young mother tried to find a seat, in the first class lounge. Another young man began looking at his shoes as a woman carrying a child got on the subway, the old woman got up and gave up her seat. It’s an interesting world.

Being conscious and living consciously is the ability to see every minute what is going on around you and inside of you. You are not reacting to life you are acting life. You are not behind the ball you are in front of the ball. Are you awake? Do you sleep walk through life? If you cannot yet be fully conscious, can you at least be kind?

When we stop offering kindness as a part of our day, what does that say about us? Is it really so much to expect from people? Are we really to busy to be kind in our dealings? Are we really to busy to hold the door? Is it really to hard just to glance behind yourself? Is checking on the elderly such an inconvenience? Is remembering your friend is always alone and asking them for dinner so hard? Kindness goes a long way in to a person’s heart.

I am advocating kindness. Let’s be awake. Start looking around  and help each other out. This world is hard enough as it is. Being spiritual or a regular church goer, a nun or a priest, none of it means anything if you can’t be kind. It is taught that your life will vastly improve simply by giving without getting anything in return and with no one knowing, it’s the way to guarantee God’s eye. Being kind is one way to practice.

Work hard to realize your presence counts, your word matters, and when you see someone in need, DO SOMETHING!

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