Being Kind to Strangers

Being Kind to Strangers

“We grow in kindness when our kindness is tested.” –Archbishop Desmond Tutu

 

This world can be very cold and harsh and for many, the world is quite cruel.  When we see people walking down the street, we have no idea what is going on in their lives.  They could be sick, miserable, abused, in debt, experiencing the death of a loved one, or even dying themselves.  On the other end of the spectrum, they could be happy, healthy, and fulfilled.  We never know.  Therefore, it is always best to be patient and kind with our fellow humans out in the world.  There is already far too much anger, intolerance, personal isolation, and hate in the world today.

 

A Simple Smile

 

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” -Mother Teresa

 

How many of us walk around looking at the ground all day?  We have become a very strange and self-centered culture in recent years.  At one time we used to look around and smile at strangers as we passed them by on our daily routines.  Now, for example, I see younger people hustling through the grocery store knocking into senior citizens’ shopping carts in their haste to get in and out all the while talking on their cell phones or texting.  Why not slow down just a little bit, put your phone away and smile at an older person the next time you are in the grocery store? I guarantee that you will feel less stressed during your shopping trip and the older person will feel noticed and uplifted.  Many of our elderly feel invisible in our fast paced technological world and a simple smile—that human connection can make a huge difference.

 

Gift Cards for the Homeless

 

If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” -Mother Teresa

 

We are living in a time of great need.  So many people are jobless in our country and homelessness in a huge issue.  In my city, there are homeless on many street corners asking for money.  This breaks my heart.  My conscious does not allow me to give them money because I do not know what it will go towards and I do not want to contribute to an addiction.  It is well known that a portion of the homeless in my city have problems with addiction.  I keep fast food gift cards on hand to give out when I see a need.  The hungry are usually very appreciative of a gift card for Subway or some such place and I know they will get a good meal.

 

Common Courtesy

 

Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

When we see people struggling with bags and other items in their hands, it’s common courtesy to hold the door for them.  If we open our eyes and look around and are open to the needs of those around us, we will see them and be able to be of service in many small ways.

 

Matthew 25:40 Jesus says:

 

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

 

This is the bottom line.  We are asked to serve our fellow men.  It is easy and usually takes no time at all to provide common courtesy to others, to smile at strangers, and to generally be aware and offer help where needed.

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I work in a library which suits me just fine, for I adore books and reading. I cherish my nieces and nephews. I admire beautiful clothing from bygone eras. I find comfort in a proper cup of tea. I delight in snowflakes, stardust and pressed flowers. In this beautiful fragmented world, I hold fast to hope.

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