“Do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
I used to try very hard to do random acts of kindness. I would buy people behind me at Starbucks coffee. I would treat my friends to a meal. I would let myself into a friend’s house when they were gone and I’d clean for them (don’t worry – I always had a key). If I wanted to feel very good about myself I would even give a person who was homeless some money, or maybe even some food.
It took me a long time to realize that doing kind things doesn’t make me a kind person. I didn’t really care about what I was doing or who I was doing it for – I just wanted to feel good about myself. I think that kindness really begins when we look at each other in love and want to do anything we can to make their day better or easier.
Maybe this means not saying something rude, when we really want to “let them have it.” Maybe it means picking someone up from the airport when we’ve had a long day and really don’t want to fight traffic. Maybe it means listening in silence. Maybe it means realizing that other people are hurting too and their lives matter too.
When we forget that people are more than just a role in our stories, we lose the ability to truly be kind. Sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that the people I need to “help” have a lot to teach me as well. I like to imagine myself gracing people with my presence and kindness, but if I show up in the world like that, I miss a lot of opportunities to make a real connection with people.
We are all human. We are all fighting. We are all learning. We are all worthy of love and kindness.
I hope that you are shown kindness. I hope that you are able to show kindness to others. I hope that when you take the time to do small things for others you will find a beautiful community of love around you.