Random Acts of Kindness

Posted by Sabina Pettitt on

Sharing the Light of Intentional Connection

A few days ago, I went grocery shopping. Outside the store were three young boys with their parents, selling donuts to fundraise for their hockey team. I walked past, knowing that I did not need to eat a box of donuts. However, when I came back out I was enchanted by their earnest little faces - I stopped and asked how much the donuts were. With hopeful eyes, they told me that one box was $20 and two boxes were $30.  So I said to them, “Well… how about I buy them and you take them home and eat them. Would that work? Would you eat them for me?”  The unabashed delight on their faces was heartwarming.

Last week, one of the people in a group that I meet with every Monday brought to our attention a news article she had recently read – it told the story of a woman in San Francisco who was intent on committing suicide because her life seemed meaningless and useless. Just when this woman was going to jump in front of a train, a pink-haired stranger asked her to take a photo of her. The stranger, visiting the city for the first time, was just so excited to be there that she wanted to record it on film. Taking that picture for a stranger made her miss the train that she was going to jump in front of. What a remarkable invitation from the universe to shift her perspective.

I have been thinking a lot lately about all the moments in life when something shifted either for me or for a person I was connected to. For instance, about a year ago an old friend (who I have not seen for years) told me that because of something I said, she had chosen to marry the man she had been seeing. She thanked me for giving her this amazing life that she had shared with him for over 40 years! At the time, she was hesitant because she did not think he was spiritual enough. It turns out it has been a marriage made in heaven - this beautiful man is a plant whisperer who grows organic vegetables and has lived his dream with my friend. It doesn’t get much better than that, I think.

The Impact of a Generous Spirit

For some of you, this time of year might feel incredibly stressful – family commitments, so many competing expectations, and perhaps a tendency to feel that others have it better than you.  The bottom line is that we never know how we might affect the journey of another person as we make our way through our own experience. In fact, we may never know the impact we have made on another’s life. With the story of the little boys, it was quite clear that what I did meant something for them. In the case of my friend who married the organic farmer, I might never have known except that she chose to share this information with me when I congratulated them on their 40th wedding anniversary.

Thinking of actions and impacts, particularly at this time of year, another source of stress can be the question, “What can I possibly gift to a person who seems to have everything?” My friend and colleague Maryanne recently told me that from the time her son was born, she has donated to charitable organizations in his name. She wanted to start his legacy early in life, and so instead of buying more toys and clothes she gave at least one gift like this for each celebration.  Now that she has a grandson, with the agreement of his parents she is continuing this generous tradition for a new generation. This year, she will donate to an agency in Mexico that rescues street dogs – one of whom is now a beloved furry family member living with her grandson.

Exploring the Gift of Intentional Connection

In any case, while holiday cheer escalates over the next few weeks (or maybe not) I have decided that each day I will deliberately and consciously connect with another human being – maybe a stranger, maybe someone I already know. Every night I will record in my journal what appears to have been a meaningful encounter, even though I may never know from the other person what it was for them. This intentional way of being will be my gift to myself, and maybe to others, as we navigate ‘the season of love.’

Wishing everyone health, happiness, joy, abundance, and a profound sense of well-being and purpose.

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