“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.” ~Henry Beecher

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

The other morning, I walked into the yoga studio and the first thing I noticed was the big, beautiful sunflower in the picture. After class as I was walking out, I asked Laurie, the owner, “Would you mind if I took a picture of your sunflower?” “Of course”, she said, “do you know where it came from?” I asked her what she meant. She told me that it mysteriously appeared on the counter and she hasn’t been able to find out who put it there. I wasn’t surprised that it showed up, simply because Laurie and her partner Richard always make the effort to add personal touches and beautifying accents to the studio, such as fresh flowers and candles in the dressing rooms, beautiful photos on the walls, and inspiring quotes throughout the studio. Maybe the flower was someone’s way of saying thank you to them for caring about their customers. Or maybe it was put there “just because” the person knew that everyone who walked in would have the opportunity to enjoy it.

What would the world look like if everyone regularly performed random acts of kindness–expecting nothing in return? There are some people that do, probably because they get that the act itself is the gift back. As the Buddhist saying goes, “If you light a lamp for somebody else, it will also brighten your own path.” Freely and willingly giving to others opens our hearts, which in turn, lets more love in. This is just an example of the point I was trying to make in my blog about loving others as we learn to love ourselves. I believe these two forms of love grow simultaneously, and random acts of kindness are just one way to make this happen.

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