It is Monday, December 17, 2012.
Maybe like you, I have sat stunned and tearful since the news on Friday. I had a few fleeting moments where I thought, "What's wrong with people?" Then I had to correct myself. There was plenty wrong with that one young man and plenty right with most everyone else.
I have never thought of kindness as a random act. I believe it is an intention and I also believe most people have chosen to live kindly. We don't share often enough or loudly enough the stories of kind deeds. I think they define us so much more than horrific acts. And so, here are three stories I would like to share. What are yours? Please share and help me turn up the volume on these voices of light.
The first story is about a woman I met in the parking lot of a shopping center where I was musing over what to do next. It was a Sunday and as she discovered me, it was starting to get dark. My car had somehow locked itself...seriously, a short of some kind, and being a Sunday, I couldn't get ahold of a locksmith. She asked me how she could help me and I mean, she meant it. She rattled off all kinds of ways she could ease my situation and none of it was superficial or perfunctory. Her concern and kindness were deep and comforting. It is hard to describe exactly and so I will just leave it at that.
The second story concerns my mom's first caregiver, a lovely, generous woman who annually uses her own time and money to cook up several turkeys with dressing for Thanksgiving. Then, she takes them to a local church where people have an open invitation to bring a dish and join in a delicious community dinner. The church is packed every year. Not being able to own her home, she has paid rent for years. This Christmas will be her first as a homeowner. The family that was her landlord has mirrored her generosity and kindness and gifted her a home of her own.
The third happened at the farmers' market, not just this weekend, but many weekends...the extra head of lettuce, bag of kale, pound of butter that my market friends have slipped into my bag.
I like to think that there are all kinds of these stories out there and they are so prevalent that we just don't notice. But I am going to notice these more and give the attention to all those who intentionally live a compassionate, kind life. These are the voices of light that can help make kindness so big and bright that darkness has only slivers of shadows left, way too small to hide in and too silent to be heard.
This gorgeous picture from The Giving Room shows light of a new day about to fill up every nook and cranny of the bay. Let it shine peace, kindness and comfort.