Virtue Call: Kindness

Kindness is like a gentle rain that falls upon the parched earth of a human heart that has grown weary from the struggles and demands of a daily life. Its soft, nurturing energy restores a dehydrated spirit just as a dried apricot immediately plumps up when immersed in water. The syllables and sounds of kindness are in every language. It is the food of the soul.

Recently, I was standing in the produce section of a grocery store. I had just completed a long list of necessary errands that had required hours of stamina and patience. I pulled a plastic bag off a roll in the fruit section and attempted to pull the two compressed edges apart. After two minutes of concentrated effort, I was still trying to find a way to open that exasperating little bag. I suddenly broke my intensity and looked around me as I hoped for a familiar solution to my difficulty. I silently wondered about the whereabouts of my husband! I locked gazes with a young man who must have been observing my growing frustration. With a big smile and a kind vibration of voice, he immediately said, “Take this one (his own opened plastic bag).” The tension of my struggle released as the welcome kindness of his words and deed penetrated my weary body, heart, and spirit.

With newly restored conviction that I could successfully complete this last task on my go-to-town list, I chose my last few food items. As I stood in the checkout line, I heard the whimpering of a small child in line behind me. My own spirit, recently shriveled by fatigue and astonishingly refreshed through unexpected kindness, empathetically recognized the obvious fatigue of the child and his parents. A response of kindness spontaneously bubbled out of my refilled spirit. I offered to let this family check out ahead of me.

Reflection:

I was so absorbed in my own intense, inner cloud of frustrated fatigue that I initially did not realize that assistance would be restorative. I had to release my concentrated “trying to” energy before there was even a space for recognition of a need and an unarticulated call for help. While I was still resonating with the freshened memory of the restorative vibration of the virtue of kindness, an opportunity of service arose through the calling out of another human being who was experiencing a similar deficit of energy.  I moved into utter astonishment when I felt kindness abundantly flow to me from Spirit, through me, and out of my own heart to another.  Through offering kindness, I had once again experienced an abundance of divine energy flowing into me. My own inner smile mirrored the smile of the recuperated family as we all left the grocery store. A vibration of the Divine had touched us momentarily through the virtue of kindness.

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