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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Acts Of Kindness and Thoughtfulness

Acts of kindness can be defined as being thoughtful, friendly/thinking
of others. We sometimes don't give either of these much thought
during our busy, hectic lives.

"I've learned that everyday you should reach out and touch someone, people love that human touch, holding hands, a warm hug or just a
friendly pat on the back or kind word."

It sometimes amazes me that we encounter so many people and
different situations in a given day and don't notice the life dramas that are going on all around us. There are so many who may be having any number of difficult times in their life and are feeling sad or lonely. Some may have family and friends to talk to and confide in and some people are all alone in the world and have no one to share their plight with. These may be people that we work with, they are those we see in a grocery store, restaurant, bank, nursing home, hospital etc. some are family or friends, even neighbors, who may feel too embarrassed to tell us that they are encountering difficult times and don't reach out for help. You can easily tell by someone's demeanor, the look in their eyes, the way they walk and talk and hardly ever smile or laugh. These are young and old alike, from children to the elderly.

You may have seen an elderly or disabled person who is having a difficult time trying to get to their car or across the street, or in any number of situations, and everyone just continues to walk by without asking if they would like help or assistance. These people are sometimes too proud to ask for help, but when offered you can see the smile in their eyes and on their face. I don't know if it is something that was inborn in me or the life experience when I was a teenager and helped take care of a grandmother who had broken her arm and wasn't able to do the daily tasks of life, that I am naturally there with a helping hand or a kind/thoughtful word to those in need.

There are the children who come from dysfunctional families and broken homes, or who have a life threatening illness. You can tell by the sadness in their eyes and the fact that they don't seem to be having any fun or playing and laughing like children should be doing and seem withdrawn. Sometimes these children probably wonder if they will ever have a happy home life like their friends or if ill, will they once again feel vibrant and healthy so that they can run and play and laugh and be happy. Children are resilient and do try to make the best of the life they have and in so doing are in their own way happy and endure.

The situations that we can utilize these acts of kindness and thoughtfulness are around us everyday and everywhere. Sometimes we instinctively know them when we come upon them and act immediately and other times we may have to analyze a situation for a few minutes before we do anything.

If you visit a hospital or nursing home or do volunteer work for these or any charity there will be many opportunities to show someone that you care

It only takes a minute to reach out to a child who is going through a troubled family life or medical crisis and give him or her a hug and say I care about you. Read a book or play a game with them, take them to a movie, tell them that you will be there to support them and can be counted on when needed. Visit a children's hospital or become a "Big Brother or Sister" and become a companion who visits them on a regular basis so they know you do care and will be their friend.

There are many people who live alone and have no one or who are hospitalized or in a nursing home with no family or friends to visit. As with the children, it only takes a few minutes of our time to visit these people and reach out to them to let them know someone cares. Hold their hand and look into their eyes and let them talk, give them a caring hug and as with the children, offer to read a book to them or just sit and spend time talking and offering companionship for a few minutes. Offer to write a letter or help in whatever small way you can. Offer a hug and a smile and let them know you care. I am currently visiting four elderly shuts ins once a week for a few minutes. Sometimes they are too ill or tired to talk for a long time, but their faces light up when they know that someone has to come visit and spend a few mintues to just listen and talk. It makes the 'soul' feel good to know that you can give a small measure of happiness to someone by offering "kindness and thoughtfulness".

Taylor has inspired us in so many ways by being kind and thoughtful through his words and deeds. He is always there to support charities, especially those that involve children and knows how to speak to them on their level. His willingness to reach out and touch people has been evidenced many times by his actions and good works with the charities that he does support, those that we have come to know in Birmingham and some that are in other areas of the country. He always has the time to be there and makes those with disabilities feel that they are important. He is a kind and gentle soul, which has been made evident by the way he is always sure to acknowledge those that he sees in a wheelchair at his concerts, or spotting a child in the audience and making sure to give the harmonica that he used during the concert to that child. I saw this up close at the concert in Portland, Or. in May. The boy that got that harmonica had the biggest smile on his face and the happiness that went along with it, was all because of Taylor's "act of kindness and thoughtfulness".

In an interview a few months ago Taylor said, "It's all about being nice and helping people and make the world a more humanistic place".

This is something that we can all do thru our 'acts of kindness and thoughtfulness' . .

Written by: Mary Ann (maryann1)

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RagsQueen said...

Oh so true and so easy to do! The rewards are far greater than the effort we expend in doing the acts of kindness, and it costs us nothing but a few seconds of our time! Thanks for the reminder!

DidNotExpectThat said...

We all need to be reminded to stop our busy lives and focus on others that need our help. You never knew when these random acts of kindness will return to you ten fold. Thanks for the wonderful thoughts on this July 4th holiday. Let's particularly remember our men and women who are in harm's way so that we can be free.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful reminder.
It makes our lives so much more fulfilling when we give of ourselves to others.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing those wonderful thoughts. They are so very true. It takes only a few moments from our busy schedules to let someone know we truly care. Buy a homeless person a cup of coffee, maybe offer them a blanket, or a sweater. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. If there is more you can do, do it! Sometimes we may have opportunites to provide other things that someone else cannot. Take advantage of that. It will come back to you one hundred fold.