What stops us from acting this way? Invariably it is our insecurities, lack of self-esteem and self-love, doubts and inadequacies. And the same qualities also stop us from being able to freely receive. If we feel unworthy then we believe we have nothing to give; if we don’t love ourselves then we don’t trust why someone would be kind to us. We may fear that if someone gives without reason that they actually want something from us, or that they have an ulterior motive.
When we feel uncomfortable with generosity it can make us get stuck in ourselves and our issues. When we can appreciate the beauty of spontaneity it takes us out of such self-centeredness; it enables us to let go of focusing on self and to reach out to each other. We can both give and receive. Such egoless moments are exquisite!
Giving spontaneously can also have a remarkable affect on all those who come in contact with both the act and the players. For instance, Huffington Post blogger Arthur Rosenfield was in the drive-thru line at Starbucks. The man in line behind him was getting impatient and angry, leaning on his horn and shouting insults at both Arthur and the Starbucks workers. Beginning to get angry himself, Arthur chose to keep his cool and change the negativity into something positive. He paid for the man’s coffee and drove away. When he got home at the end of the day, he discovered that he had created a chain of giving that had not only continued all that day but had been highlighted on NBC News and within twenty-four hours had spread around the world on the Internet.
Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. –Scott Adams
Can you imagine a world where no one gave to each other? Where we all just looked after our own needs and ignored everyone else’s? This would surely be a miserable place to live, for ultimately, whether spontaneous or planned, we cannot be happy without being kind, by giving and caring for each other.
Random acts of kindness are essential to our well-being, as they liberate us from self-obsession, selfishness, and isolation; they are the effect of an open and loving nature. True generosity is giving without expectation, with no need to be repaid in any form. This is the most powerful act of generosity, as it is unconditional, unattached, and free to land wherever it will. Whether we give to our family, friends, or to strangers, it is the same.
We may feel we have little to offer, but whether it is a few pennies or a whole bankroll, a cup of tea or a banquet is irrelevant–it is the act of giving itself that is important. As Mahatma Gandhi said, Almost anything we do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that we do it.
Do you have a story of a random act of kindness? Do comment below.