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An act of kindness heals giver and recipient alike

As human beings, we know we all have some of both the best and the worst in us.

The worst we can always spot, but what is it that brings out the best in us?

We all have a “best”— a selfless side that goes the extra mile for someone or something we believe in. We have seen the TV news stories about that amazing person who ran across three lanes of traffic to pull a child out of harm’s way, or shielded someone from a bullet and might have lost their own life doing it.

Who are these people? How are they different?

I’m not sure they are; most of the time the follow-up story on them shows them to be just ordinary folks who acted instinctively in the middle of the routine of their daily lives.

The rest of us think about what we would do in a similar situation, but I don’t think we can really know for sure unless or until we are faced with a comparable set of events. It does not seem as if those “heroes” thought much about their own personal safety as they reacted to an unfolding disaster.

These people, as wonderful as they are, aren’t the only “heroes” out there.

Our society is made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals who are also heroes, but rarely make the news. They serve in clubs and groups, on boards or perhaps not, but they give their time and sometimes their money to help someone in need. They fill sand bags when their house isn’t in danger of flooding. They leave their homes and jobs and drive across the country to help rebuild a house for someone who lost theirs in a tornado. They hand out food to those who are hungry and coats to those who are cold. They pay for eyeglasses for someone, a heating bill for another; they make prayer quilts and teddy bears for those who are sick and in need of comfort. They are there when they are needed, ready to do anything they can to help or comfort another person who is suffering. Whether they are working within their own family or their community or on the other side of the globe, it does not really matter.

They are all there.

A week or so ago, some of my friends got together and put on a benefit for me to help with some of the medical bills that are not covered by my insurance.

Regardless of which side of the political fence you are on, I think we can all agree that the healthcare system in this country is a problem. Getting sick and having extensive surgery these days is expensive business, even with insurance. Without it, the situation is impossible.

So, this act of kindness by people who had no other motivation to do what they did, except kind hearts and a desire to ease someone else’s suffering, is amazing. There were people there that I did not even know, but they came out because they cared.

This is humanity at its best; these are the people we want our kids to grow up to be like.

As I get more and more healed, these are the people whose acts of kindness I will pay forward every chance I get.

Are you a giver? If not, think about becoming one. Random acts of kindness or deliberate ones are real and they carry their own reward — they heal the giver and the recipient!

This story was posted on September 26, 2012.