As a society, by and large, we are very proactive about how we conduct ourselves in public when we are not feeling our best. We make every effort to sneeze away from others and into a handkerchief. We even try to muffle our sneezes so as not to disturb others. We politely cover our mouths when we cough. Yet I wonder just how contagious “kindness” can be.
So, I put my question to the test. The other day while driving to St. Nicholas I made a cognitive choice. Any time I encountered a driver trying to exit a driveway and onto traffic I would yield the right of way. Granted, I usually do this, though, there have been times, when in a hurry, I did not yield the right of way. But on this particular day, regardless of what I had going on, where I was headed or how much of a hurry I was in, other drivers would come first.
It was not too difficult. Each time I would stop and wave traffic to proceed, friendly waves of “thank you” were offered and even smiles could be seen. In fact, I noticed cars in front of me who had sped on around and ahead of me were also allowing traffic to merge, too. It seemed other drivers were willing to sacrifice “the lead” to let others in. Kindness was spreading…could it be so?
Now, of course, I did encounter some drivers who were far less willing to comply with my “kindness drive.” They, too, shared interesting hand gestures though they were not waving “thank you” to me. Sad as it is, not everyone is as enthusiastic about letting go and allowing others to come first. Of course, these drivers may well have had valid reasons for not yielding to others. Still, it doesn’t take much on our part to extend even the slightest of kindness. When I arrived at St. Nicholas, I have to say, my spirits were soaring and my heart was filled with an indescribable happiness. On my way home later that evening, I again followed my plan and allowed others to merge on ahead of me. What a day! And to think, it literally cost me nothing to bring even the slightest degree of kindness to others. And, who knows, those drivers may well have showed similar gestures of kindness to others,too. Some one has to set the first domino in action in order to get to the next one, and so on, and so on.
My sisters and brothers, with the new year well underway, let’s all make a point of “spreading kindness” as often as we can! Let’s give of ourselves without expecting any thing in return except the gratitude of those who are recipients of our actions and of course, our Lord’s favor. Let us all express in word and deed our Christian heritage and give of ourselves so others may experience happiness and joy. And if we need any reminders…think of Jesus who surrendered of Himself so others may live in freedom and with the promise of Paradise that awaits us all.