As the world fights to figure everything out, I’ll be holding doors for strangers, letting people cut in front of me in traffic, saying good morning, keeping babies entertained in grocery lines, stopping to talk to someone who is lonely, being patient with sales clerks, smiling at a passersby.
As the world fights to figure everything out,
I’ll be holding doors for strangers,
letting people cut in front of me in traffic,
saying good morning,
keeping babies entertained in grocery lines,
stopping to talk to someone who is lonely,
being patient with sales clerks,
smiling at a passersby.
Because I will not stand idly by and live in a world where love is indivisible.
Join me in showing kindness, understanding, judging less.
Be kind to a stranger, give grace to friends who are having a bad day,
be forgiving of yourself – today and every day.
BE the change,
BE the light,
start today and never stop.
AUDREY LOVES PARIS
With the world in a continuous state of conflict and public opinion growing ever more potentially dangerous by the day, why spend any time whatsoever in simple acts of kindness? Does it even matter anymore?
I see an aphorism such as the one above and my heart sings. It resonates wholly with me (except the part about letting people cut me off in traffic) and reinforces why anyone would take the time to share a bright message, or to be completely altruistic in their approach to certain aspects of life. Kindness is a groundswell. It is granular and spreads like a virus in countless ways.
Let’s be transparent. Writing these missives every single day carries a toll in the sense that it is a pattern that I do not wish to break, and it is expected by some to continue. But far more important than that, it carries seeds. I had a heart to heart with a dear friend who owns a karate studio who shared that he has been sharing the philosophy that comes his way through my writings with his students who look to him as both instructor and thought leader. One thought from someone who is either identified or anonymous in my aphorisms is transmitted by me to others, who do the same. When these thoughts are shared, it reinforces in others that their feelings of kindness and sentient mentality are not so isolated. They see it is present in others and reinforces for them the need to hang on to those beliefs and share them when appropriate.
The wonderful thing about an aphorism is that they have no core foundation, no agenda, no entity seeking control or continued influence. They do not solicit donations, they do not expect anything out of the receiving party other than to contemplate what has been communicated. In that contemplation comes the potential for a lesson, revelation, or even the potential for a need to pass that thought to another whom they care about, just as I do with you.
Evil may be fought on many fronts. Sometimes that requires weapons and violence, but other times, it solely requires kindness, selfless acts that transmit a value system that remains undefined and amorphous in their presence. When you encounter such a behavior as the ones in today’s aphorism, something inside of you awakens for a moment, a reinforcement of what you might truly believe comes alive and perhaps enables you to do the same for another.
Kindness can be a virus, as potent as Covid. Kindness can be shared, communicated, transmitted and delivered in countless forms. Each of which facilitate the ability for more kindness to flourish.
Why is this so important?
Because in darkness, light is nonexistent. So darkness breeds more of the same. But look how the omnipowerful darkness shrinks in the face of a single tiny flame of a candle. Instantly what was previously omnipresent is now pierced by illumination. With more candles lighting, comes an ever shrinking darkness. Darkness is truly powerless in the face of light.
Can all of this metaphorical mumbo jumbo cause any recourse of lasting value? Of course it can, and it has and it will continue for the remainder of time. Just as water extinguishes a flame, darkness is extinguished by light. So when each of us are willing to put our busy lives, and deadlines, and pressures and stresses aside long enough to spread some light, as I do in sharing my musings with you, we are collectively extinguishing darkness. Will we ever fully succeed? Doubtful. But if we try on a daily basis to light our own candles with our behavior and actions, we are each contributing to forcing darkness back into its cave.
It does not take much to be a part of the solution. Try to smile at strangers. Go out of your way to be genuinely friendly to waitstaff, and to the person who takes your money in a parking lot and others who you might normally just take for granted. Take the extra second to pass along a sentiment that resonates with you. Give someone in your world a chance to catch the light. And expect absolutely nothing in return. Do it selflessly.
I promise that a committed mindset to adding light to the solution will pay off in countless ways both personally and collectively.
And let’s face it…. We all wish to live in an illuminated world. One of magic and mystery, of life and thriving experiences. Kindness is the first step we can all take to get there…. And there is tremendous power in a massive movement.
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