Saturday, January 22, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

It's a time I'll never forget.  I was waiting tables in 1995, trying to get a job in my chosen field.  I worked at a Cracker Barrel in a small town in northwest Georgia.  There was a customer that came in once a week at lunchtime.  Everyone knew who he was, because of the extraordinary thing he would do each time he came.  He picked a table and paid their bill when he paid his own.  We were not allowed to tell anyone who did it, but it was the most incredible thing to watch the reactions of the people when they realized someone else had paid their bill.

The Bible calls for us to give generously and says that our giving loses meaning when we take credit for it.  God wants us to give from our hearts, and not for our own self gratification.  Reaching beyond ourselves and beyond the illness we live with is good for the soul.  We are reflecting the love of Jesus when we do that.

When the man I waited on each week performed his anonymous act of kindness, it affected everyone in the room.  I watched this simple act move people to tears. There seems to be an unwritten law of nature that goes into effect when we give.  Unfailingly, we get something back in return.  Not usually from the person or persons to whom we have given something, but often from another source at another time.  When we give unselfishly to those with a legitimate need, we are blessed tenfold.  People around us learn from our example as well.  It does not matter whether you have a mental illness or you are the caregiver.  Random acts of generosity command respect and please God; in addition, these acts automatically change one's attitude.  When you want someone else'e behavior to change, the only thing that may help that to happen, is for them to see a change in you.  I have witnessed his many times over with the people in my own life.

Next time you feel down, consider doing a random act of kindness.  It can not only turn someone else's day around, but your day as well.