The Value of an Act of Kindness

How many times have we walked away from the person on the street asking for change?  How often do we stop to help our neighbors?

I was recently approached by an older man and woman on the street who were asking for bus fare.  The man had just been discharged from the hospital and without money they had to walk home. My initial reaction was “I’m sorry but I have no cash”.  I saw the hurt in the woman’s eyes and knew that I had change in my bag.  After giving them the whole $3 in change that I had in my bag I looked at the woman’s face and saw such gratitude in her eyes.

Later in the week a neighbor stopped me to ask me to notarize some paperwork for her.  I didn’t realize how sick she had been recently and she told me that she had been in the ER the night before.  What she said next not only shocked me but validated my earlier decision to give the couple change.  She had been treated at the ER for extreme pain and was given morphine to make her comfortable while they ran tests and discharged at 1am on Sunday morning…she had no ride home, no money and was told there was nothing the hospital could do for her.  She walked home that night alone, sick, and scared.  Later in the day she stopped and told me her cat had passed away, the second cat to pass in a week.  She was heartbroken, defeated, and so down that it broke my heart.  She went on to explain that she had been on disability and was waiting for social services to help her out but the process is very slow.  This is a woman who went to work every day, tried to help others when she could, and was always kind to people she met.  We sat and talked for a while until she felt a little better about her situation.

Today I received a message from her:  “I just want to try to express my deep gratitude for the love, support, & generosity you have shown me during such a hard and sorrowful time.  The universe is mysterious and I don’t understand it most of the time but I do believe that you were an angel put in my path at just the time I needed you most.  I hope I can do the same for you someday.”

These experiences have made me take a closer look at myself and my initial reaction to pass judgement.  I realized that it’s not my place to judge another human being, especially when they are less fortunate than others.  We don’t know what others are going through until we take the time to walk in their shoes.

Kindness is the greatest gift we have to give…and it’s FREE!  Share some kindness today and make a difference in the life of another human being.

Have a beautiful day! ~ Pamela

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