Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Need Moments and Acts of Kindness

Along with everyone else in the nation, and I'm sure the world, I am horrified to think of the atrocity that occurred yesterday in Newtown, CT. I can hardly find words to even begin this post, I mean, what can I say that would even begin to describe how i feel about how the deaths of an entire Kindergarten class, their schoolmates, teachers and Principal? I guess I don't need to get detailed because I'm sure you, reader, feel just as saddened and horrified as I do.

My brother's girlfriend's birthday party came on the heels of this attack. Kind of a rough night to have a party, but it was for the best. After all, when something makes you keenly aware of the love you have for your friends and family I believe it best to go spend quality time with them. The party went well and it also allowed me some time to observe my 2.5 yr old nephew. While I was watching his sweet little face light up as he took in all the Christmas Lights on the gigantic tree, my heart broke to think of all the cold beds in the Newtown area that night.

Facebook blew up yesterday with updated statuses commenting on the news; prayers, best wishes, expressions of horror and so on. A lot of people were saying, "what is going on with the world? There are so many shootings lately, like in the last few years it seems to have become this gruesome trend!" Sadly they're right. Here's the thing though, if we want to see change in the world, we need to be that change. We can't just sit in our homes and be horrified at the news and then say, "gosh I hope I get home safely from the mall today." To act like victims-in-waiting is NOT a proactive mindset at all! If we want our world to be a friendly more loving place, we need to be friendly and more loving.

We all know about the butterfly effect, or the domino effect. The idea is that one small drop in the pond here will create a ripple which will expand and travel outwards effecting many other things, both foreseen and unforeseen. As the common phrase goes: A butterfly flaps its wings in Tampa and there's a storm in Taiwan. So why wait for a ripple of terror to hit us when we can CHOOSE to drop a boulder of kindness into that pond?

So I am taking action by pledging to do someone a kindness today. Two someones. I will buy a coffee for the next person in line. I will insist that the person behind me at the grocery store with a crying baby go before me even though I only have small basket. I will make an exchange genuine by taking it away from the superficial niceties, away from "how are you?" "Good, how are you?" "Good." Instead I will comment admiringly on his tattoo, or her hair, or earrings, or doesn't matter what as long as that person can feel that they were just recognized as another human being, not simply as a service person. If someone is surprised or shocked, then clearly my act of kindness found a needy home. We can't know what our affect on any one person will be, so dole out the kind acts without judgement. I will not limit my acts to people that look like they'll appreciate or understand.

If every one of us gives a moment of kindness to just two people today, I believe we can take back the affection that we felt for our communities. Going to the mall or store will become a happy opportunity to find someone that needs a moment of kindness instead of being laden with apprehension. Sure it may seem a little awkward at first, but change isn't always easy, but that certainly doesn't mean the change isn't worth having! Aren't you a CrossFitter by the way? Wasn't becoming a CrossFitter difficult? Days of being unable to take the stairs didn't stop you did it? Aren't you a yogi by the way? Wasn't finding the time to practice and learning to breathe into poses difficult? But that didn't stop you from seeing the value in what you were doing and therefore from quitting did it?

This is my pledge. What are you doing today?

With fittest intentions,



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