A small act of kindness

>>  Sunday, May 11, 2014

Every so often a 'story' comes through my facebook timeline.  This morning's was about a policewomen that had brought someone their groceries instead of arresting them for shop lifting and so the story grew into a small number of public donations and a job offer.  It was a nice, happy day thing.

I noticed over 1 million people had 'liked' it and 200,000 had left 'wow, that's awesome comments'.  Why do we feel the need to 'like' these stories?  Well, I guess it's nice to show that we do actually like a bit of good news or a happy ending but I'm a little worried that there is more to it.  Do we 'like' these things because clicking feels like an action?  Do we think we have actually done something positive to the world by that action?

I wonder how many people float through life without giving anything back?  Yes, I know life is hard/busy/challenging/we don't owe anyone anything but

we live in one world. Go stand up in space and look down at the world and see it, imagine watching one group of people struggling whilst others, busy like ants, ignore it.  It seems odd to me.

I know it's hard to make a difference to the entire world but small stones make large ripples.

Often making a difference benefits ourselves as much as the people we try to help.  I suspect most marathon runners for charity and sponsored bike riders have an element of 'it's good for me', 'it keeps me fit', 'I feel great when I achieve a challenge' going on in there.

I've definitely always said I get as much out of Guiding for me personally as I put in.  Well, I mostly say that, there are some days when I wonder why I do it, but on balance I'm tipping the scales with a big win for me.

But there is something in between clicking 'like' and achieving nothing and running a marathon.  There are simple acts of kindness like offering to push an old person's shopping trolley to the car for them, stopping to pick up the dropped glove of a child when mum hasn't noticed or has her hands full and giving it back, waving at a kiddy on a bus who loves to be waved back at and taking 2 seconds of 'child entertainment' pressure off its mum, picking up a bit of litter and putting it in the bin.

 I think 'like' clicks are like water skaters. They are there on the surface of the water, manically moving around but the water hardly moves at all, there are no ripples, the skaters don't even break the surface.

But even small stones break the surface and create ripples.  Small acts of kindness are like small stones.  What are you going to do today? 

There's an irony in this post that if you G+'d it or 'liked' it in some manner, I would be rather pleased.  Ahhhh irony, the mantle by which I live!


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