Thursday, May 3, 2012

Practice Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.

From Bill St. Clair: A Sweet Lesson on Patience.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
When I first came to this area, I spent the first year and a half working at a little shop repairing chainsaws and tillers and selling propane.

This is not a rich place - for most of the people I met during that period it's quite a poor one. A guy's generator goes out, maybe he can't pump water. His chainsaw takes a dump, maybe his family doesn't have firewood. After a while you get to thinking maybe your job is more important than you originally thought. Maybe sometimes you're right about that.

So maybe sometimes, you know - that little old lady who comes in at the end of the month and can only afford four gallons in her five-gallon propane tank, paying with loose change - maybe you go ahead and fill the bottle. It's three bucks out of your pocket. If you got something better to spend it on, go do that. The Indian with the two kids in his pickup, ragged coats - maybe his worn-the-hell-out chainsaw needs to go to the front of the queue. It's all the same to me which machine I get back on its knees next. Might be more important to him.

I'm not superstitious about anything but karma. And I have no evidence that karma has any more reality than leprechauns. Hell, I always tried to do the right thing, all my life, and mostly it got me kicked in the teeth. Expecting anything back from it is a sucker's bet. Mostly it's just a way to justify making myself feel good about ... myself. I never met most of those people again. But I figure what the hell? Nobody ever died from taking a minute to do the right thing, y'know? For no better reason than because you can.


Anonymous said...

Well stated sir, going out of your way to help the deserving (I think) will be rewarded later on. You might find yourself in a bind and the person you helped out before can pull you out of 'the ditch' you found yourself.

LJH said...

I'm unconvinced about leprechauns but karma, albeit rarely instant, is about the realest thing going.

Xtian said...

Seems to me that feeling good about myself for however long the feeling lasts is reward enough for a random act of kindness. Any boost in my karma is icing on the cake.