What is kindness? We have so many festivals in the world and the underlying highlight is altruism, benevolence and decency. Do we stop and think about it? Do we do something conclusive? I am not writing to diminish your generosity; all I am asking you to do is pause and observe yourself.
Yesterday I went to my tailor, who has a machine, and he literally sits on the pavement. I just have to also describe that in Delhi, we have these wonderful tailors sitting and they will do all your odd jobs. They charge next to nothing, but you have to stand there while he is working on your clothes. The traffic is on the roads, and car horns are blaring, but he remains cheerful. He is one of the kindest people I know.
I have seen little urchins come to him, with their torn tea shirts. They take it off, he repairs it and gives it back to them. He does not take any cash for it. Sometimes he will have a torn pair of shorts, which he is stitching and one has to wait for one’s turn. He is good humored and remained so during the Covid epidemic. Where he works, it is near a street on which I go often. One day, he received a phone call from his brother. His brother was ill and he had to leave immediately. I asked if I could do something and he said no, his brother was an addict. He remained calm.
When I was walking in Nazareth, and I wanted to buy a lemon. The seller gave it to me and refused to take money for it. I was a tourist and then further on I wanted to buy two pieces of fresh bread, and for that also he would not take any money. Maybe it was the Sabbath.
Accept the generosity
Kindness can become a way of life for all of us. When our sons were little, five years old, they went into a sweets shop and there was a boy with his father, the same age as them. His dad bought him a chocolate bar and I was looking around the shop, when I saw this little boy giving my sons the chocolate. He would not take it back and I just had to accept the generosity. If you stop and think, you will find many occasions where people are kind and they do not think about it afterwards.
Now it is said it is good fengshui, to clear out the old stuff, when you get new stuff. We do not need to be told; it should be spontaneous.
Charity which is given in a fundraiser is great but is there a follow up. And when we publicly make a donation, what are we seeking? Recognition. Since I run an NGO, where I work with children who live on the street with their parents, I am offered the moon. When I pursue the offer, sometimes I do not even see the stars. My husband gets upset, when false promises are given, but I believe that at least their consciousness was awakened and they will give to another organization.
Make an inventory of your acts of kindness.
Aim Hrim Klim