Random Acts of Kindess: a Little Goes a Long Way

As much as I hate to do this, here’s your mushy holiday blog. I really wanted to rant about things political, but I guess the holiday spirit infected me.

Remember the Aesop’s fable The Lion and the Mouse? You know, where the little mouse helps the big lion by pulling a thorn out of his paw. The moral is “no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”

During the holiday season, it’s common to hear folks reminding us to remember the needy. We donate to food banks and soup kitchens, we donate coats for needy children, we participate in toy drives. And while all these things are necessary and wonderful, it’s important to remember that even the small things have big impact.

Case in point: recently I was going through a strange phase. I was wondering if anyone even cared about the things I write and post here, if it was worth my time, did I piss anyone off with my leftist rantings, etc. I was in a bad blog place and feeling pretty down. But then a few people took the effort to say “thanks for writing, I enjoy reading it” or “I missed you when you didn’t post last week.” It took just a few seconds to write these simple words — and yet they put a smile on my face and bolstered my confidence. Made me feel loved, in a way.

This is a pretty trivial example, but the point is this: you may not think much of small actions, but they can really make someone’s day. Look the cashier in the eye and smile. Actually say out loud the compliment you’re thinking about someone’s hair/earrings/shirt/whatever. Offer to help someone pick something up that they’ve dropped, or hold the door open an extra few seconds for someone. Help an old lady across the street.

Of course we should continue doing the big things — and year-round, not just at holiday time. But how about this for a New Year’s Resolution: try to commit one small act of kindness each day. Just think what it would be like if we all did that!

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