The other day I was taking my dog Sudi for a walk down the main street of Bondi where I live. As I was just about to cross the road, a plastic bag got swept up in the wind and began whirling across the pavement. Without really thinking about it, I quickly chased after it, stomped it to a halt and put it in the nearby bin.
In that very moment I hear a strangers voice say “Ohh you are a good girl. Gosh, what a good girl you are.” As a looked up, I saw a sweet old man walking towards me with the BIGGEST smile on his face. As he got a little closer he looked at me with smiles now in his eyes and said, “The world needs more people like you. Thank you, what a good girl you are!” and off he went with a new spring in his step.
I had made his day. And what he didn’t realize is that his kind words made mine!
I didn’t pick up the rubbish hoping someone would see me and think ‘oh isn’t she a good Samaritan’. I didn’t do it for a pat on the back, for recognition or praise. I actually didn’t really think about it at all. I picked it up for the same reason any one would pick up rubbish – because I prefer to see our streets clean and our oceans free of plastic waste, and I know that every little bit counts. I didn’t know that anyone was watching, and even if they were, I certainly wasn’t expecting or looking for any type of accolade!
That lovely man was a really powerful reminder for me that how we show up in the world matters. My seemingly insignificant act of picking up that plastic bag brightened that man’s day. The best part is, the joy that it brought to him was reflected straight back at me upon hearing and seeing his appreciation.
I share this story as a gentle reminder of how easy it is to be kind. Remember that no act of kindness is ever wasted no matter how small and insignificant it may seem at the time. Your actions matter and the ripple effect is endless!
So, no matter where you are, or what you are doing or who you are doing it with, remember that your actions and words have a powerful impact on those around you whether we are aware of it or not.
You are a game changer.
Changing the world one mindful act of kindness at a time.