Random Acts of Kindness

In Austin, there are people who are clearly filled with the Christmas spirit. They’re going about anonymously decorating trees by the roadside. All along Highway 360, you’ll come upon decked-out cedar trees. It’s such a sweet thing to see. Who are these people?

When I was walking around LadyBird Lake a couple days ago, there were various native plants that had been decorated as well, including a rather large, old yucca that had beautiful blue, delicate ornaments hanging all over it. Every time I happened upon one, it was a happy surprise. Who took the time to do this?

When I notice such kindnesses, I take a moment to thank whoever acted in that way, even though I have no idea who they are. It leaves me feeling good about humanity, it literally warms my heart, and I feel hopeful about the future.

Tonight at the bowling alley, I heard of another kindness from one of my teammates. Ryan, a very sweet fellow by nature, was out jogging last week when he saw what he thought was a dead squirrel in a lot along the roadside in his neighborhood. Something spurred him to take a closer look and what he discovered was a tiny, emaciated, abandoned pit bull mix. Appalled and disgusted, Ryan took that little puppy home with him and he and his girlfriend began to nurse it back to health. A week later, that little puppy (named Bella) is thriving. I wish you could have seen his face as he shared what this has been like for him. He’s already head over heels for that dog.

Every day, people do kind things. Sometimes, nobody ever finds out about it; sometimes we get to hear the story. Either way, I appreciate kindness, in acts big and small. I hope everyday to be a kinder me, to do so more and more automatically. To quote Leo Buscaglia, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” That’s what Ryan did..he turned a life around.

Random Acts of Kindness do matter. They’re not  just words on a bumper sticker…

©Maria K. Benning, M.Ed.


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