Monday, December 29, 2008

2009: Make it the "Acts of Kindness YEAR"

By John Kubicek

It was on my way home from work and my stop at the store when I had the impulse to do something nice for somebody. Yes, I said it was an impulse. The grocery store that I frequent enrout to my domicile was unusually busy this morning, but there was only one cashier. It was, as usual in the early morning on my trek home, Paula (name not changed to protect the innocent, and it doesn't matter, because I do not even know her last name). She's a nice lady, about my age. She knows my first name, too, and it is wonderful to have that kind of relationship with people where you always shop.

I only stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple things. Hearing that we may be getting more snow in the next day or two, I decided to stock up. I picked up extra cans of various veggies along with some other essentials. Getting it today would save me the trouble of battling the elements to do any shopping in the next few days while I enjoy my weekend.

Being that I had a cart loaded with all of this stuff when my shopping was done ... uh, actually just a bunch of items, I let somebody go ahead of me at the cashier line because he only had a couple of things. No problem. And then, just as I started loading all of those things on that conveyor belt, somebody came up behind me, also with a couple little things. Paula had already started ringing up my desired merchandise, so I couldn't really let that guy go ahead of me. So, I simply stated that he should put those couple of things in with my stuff, I'd pay for it, it was on me. That way, Paula could give him his stuff and he could be on his way!

Of course, the gentleman balked at first. You know, the thing where the person says, "You don't have to do that...", and of course, I persisted, and he relented. Paula looked at me across the counter as she was scanning my goods, with the wide eyes that asked with out saying a word, "What are you doing?"

I told her a lie. I said it was "National Acts of Kindness Day." And I quickly added further to the fib by amending that to "National Acts of Kindness Week." Like I said, it was just one of those things that came to me, pretty much on the spot.

There is an alterior motive for me to relate this story to you today. Obviously, being that this all happened spontaneously, what I did wasn't premeditated, but there was the great reason - right there - why you needed to hear about this today.

I had written about it somewhere else this last weekend - oh, yeah, in the email I sent to Kevin Wall, filling in for the resting Glenn Beck - that we have to choose betwen "Individual efforts or dependence on the government.... " Kevin Wall talked about it, and Pat Boone wrote about it. It's a question of, "Would you rather?"

There will be many people that will face certain financial hardships in the coming year(s). I can tell you this from my usual right-wing slant: The government ain't going to be there to help every person through the financial storm. And, as drastic as things may be financially in 2009, I doubt that you and I will be able to bail out every individual facing financial devastation. But, guess what? We can help, just by doing nice things for people when it is possible. If anything, just to get their morale back up, to give people some hope.

By making 2009 the "Acts of Kindness YEAR," maybe we can make it contagious. Just doing some little things in quantity could make a difference in somebody's life. This is just an idea, based on what Jesus may have commanded us to do... Oh, yeah, he did! But, He didn't command us to pass on that awesome responsibility to some bureaucrats in high government positions.

No, He made it very clear that taking care of and loving people was our sole responsibility, to the best of our ability. And I don't know about you, but I'm not financially able to make a difference in that way most of the time, but it isn't that expensive to hold a door open for somebody or help a little old lady across a busy street, or allow somebody in heavy traffic to change lanes without us having a hissy-fit. Be kind. Being kind is an act of kindness. That is all it will take to make it contagious. I think you'll see.

And, I may as well say it, if you follow this plan, there's something in it for you. It is like crying with a great feeling in my heart all the way home from the grocery store today. The feeling that you get from it is better than the high the best drugs would ever give you.

Jesus didn't just suggest it, but he commanded: Love Thy Neighbor.

No comments: