Thursday, February 17, 2011

Acts Of Kindness

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking. H. Jackson Browne

I'm told that it's Random Act of Kindness Week. OK, here's some inspiration:

Calma, pequeno...  Eu ajudo a encontrar a sua mae.

I really don't get into these sorts of things all that much, even when a friend mentions me:
George sent me a rock hammer. Suzanne performed rescue operations. Cujo invited me to the theatre. Lockwood volunteered for field trip duty. And there have been 10,000 other things, great and small, that you've done, things that make me a big squidgy mass of gratefulness and love.

Random Acts of Kindness Week
Here's the reason I'm not much into Random Acts of Kindness Week, though. If I'd waited for Random Acts of Kindness Week, it would have been four months after the play ended. I doubt George or Lockwood waited, either, and as Suzanne's other rescuee, I'm really glad she didn't wait for RAOK Week. Not to put too fine a point on this, but true acts of kindness are probably best done at the time they're needed:

Don't cry, big guy  I helps you find your mama

Plus, in retrospect, my act of generosity there doesn't seem so generous. I helped someone I'd grown fond of thanks to corresponding with her over the Internet. I ended up with a new friend and an amiable traveling companion. That seems like a sweet deal to me.

Some of the acts of kindness I'm most happy to have committed were the ones that probably no one even knew I'd done. No, I'm not telling. Suffice to say, in some cases the individuals who benefited isn't even aware he or she was a beneficiary, which is fine with me. And if some of those people actually did catch up with me, I'd just tell them to pass on the favor - do something for someone who needs it someday, even though you might not see any benefit.

After all, a wise man once said:

He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged. Benjamin Franklin

Making the world a better place is reward enough, and I don't feel like being obligated to do it over and over again. It's a win-win.

So, if someone did you an act of kindness you figure you can't repay, just pass it on. But don't wait until February to do it.

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