I was paying a medical bill over the phone, when the billing person asked, “Now, can I have the three numbers on the back of your card?”
“That’s right. You caught me. I stole a credit card to pay off people’s medical bills, “I said.
As she started laughing, she then stopped abruptly and told me that, after the Newtown shootings near our area, people started campaigning to do random acts of kindness. Someone called their office, and, in memory of the horrific and senseless act that is every parent’s nightmare, asked to pay off a person’s medical bill that they never knew.
The thought of this really resonated with me. In a world where so many senseless and terrible things happen where a person may lose hope in humanity, so many people with good hearts step forward and do something wonderful and amazing for another person. We can’t take back horrific events that take place in our world, but we can do something to make the world a better place for another person. It seems like such a small thing in comparison to the events. At the same time, I recall my father telling me years ago, “Did you know that $100 a month can make or break a family?” So many families are living on the edge in life – and not by choice.
Sure, we could have a callous attitude and say, “It’s not my problem.” If you’re one of those people that sat around wondering what the meaning of your life is, well, the meaning is to learn to love other people. Love is everything. Love is what makes us thrive as human beings. Love is what gives us the warm fuzzies, the need to give a hug, and the reason we want to reach out to others. We need people in our lives, and we need love in our lives as well. To ultimately be able to give to a stranger from the willingness to love another is the ultimate lesson in love – that and to be able to forgive people, but that’s a whole different article.
Despite all the bad that does happen, the ability to have anything remotely good come from it is an amazing feat in itself. For a person to sit and think about a random act of kindness – to think it out deeply and come up with something that could relieve a person of financial difficulty, put a meal on a table, or do something neighborly that shows compassion and caring is amazing. We all get caught up in our own little worlds of nonsense each day. We have a whirlwind in our heads of what’s right and what’s wrong in our own lives. We have schedules flying about, work on the brain, kids schedules, appointments….but, this holiday season, let’s stop for a moment. In the end, none of that nonsense we have going on matters. None of it matters. None of us are going to live forever, and how much time does it really take for any of us to do a random act of kindness for anyone.
So, this season, I’m asking my readers to stop for a moment. Stop stressing over your guest list, what you’re making for Thanksgiving dinner, what kind of gifts you need to purchase for your family, or whether or not you’re ticked off at someone. Let’s put this bluntly: WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE. What legacy do you want to leave behind when you’re gone? As for me, I’d like to make the world a little bit of a better place.
Think about something you can do that will give joy to another person. Do you have an elderly neighbor who can no longer drive and needs help getting groceries or getting to a doctor’s appointment? Do you have a friend who has no place to go for the holidays? Do you know of a Veteran that is alone and about programs in your area that train you to visit with those in hospice so they’re not by themselves? Is there a single mom or dad that won’t be able to do much for her/his children? Or, would you just like to call a doctor’s office and offer to pay off a random bill?
How creative can you get with a random act of kindness? Being kind doesn’t even have to cost money. Offer your services to rake leaves or even to volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity in your area in an effort to create a great home for a family in need. Bring someone’s garbage cans to the curb. Offer to put up decorations for a person who is alone and can’t do these types of things anymore.
What ideas do you have for a random act of kindness? What kind of stories have you heard that really brought joy to your heart about the random act of kindness that another did? Let’s not just think of random acts of kindness during the holiday season, but through the year when our small actions of kindness lead to joy in the lives of others. Joy is contagious. If enough people went forward to do a kind thing for another person, our world would change.