“So often time it happens, we all live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key.”
— The Eagles, “Already Gone”
Towards the end of my lunch run I was passing along a wooded path behind a suburban housing development. As I turned a sharp corner on the raised walkway, I saw a child’s ball lying in the mud, just below the trail. Without much hesitation, I slowed, stopped, picked up the ball and tossed it back into the yard. I watched the ball land, then jogged away.
It was only a small gesture of kindness. What impact could it possibly have on the child behind the fence?
- Would his or her life be forever changed? – Unlikely.
- Would they rejoice at the sudden appearance of a long lost toy? – Maybe.
- Would the muddy old thing get tossed in a garbage can? – Could be.
- Nothing? – Perhaps
The common theme to all these questions is that there is no answer. An act of kindness often has an unknown effect on the recipient. The consequences of the action are unforeseeable. Sometimes a ripple. Sometimes a wave. Sometimes nothing.
But there is one consequence that is always known. For me, and I think a lot of people, giving time as an act of kindness is like putting a warm compress on a sore muscle. It’s like putting a salve on a small cut. It’s like sitting down in a comfortable chair after a long hard run. It’s like finally getting that festering splinter pulled out. It feels good and it feels like the right thing to do.
As I talk to people and read Facebook, I see so many of my friends and acquaintances who seem to constantly be in pain. Not physical pain, but emotional pain. A pain that doesn’t seem to have any cause, but is still real. A pain, perhaps, from a lack of connection to the people in their community. A pain that manifests itself in sarcasm and self-desctructive bitterness masquerading as humor. A pain that is never healed.
I’d like to think, though, if they choose, if they want to make a positive change in their life, that this blog is here for them. And for you. I’ve discovered that doing those kind acts and magnifying them by giving my time gives me a feeling of belonging and connectedness and value that I’ve not found anywhere else. The value lies in the doing of something for someone else, with intent, with creativity, with time, and with purpose to connect.
The investment of time is the key. The giving of time with intent to help. Everyday.
It’s only one little blog in a great big internet, but I hope it’s a place to go to know that there’s at least one other person on this planet who is trying to make the world a little better.
It started as a personal challenge. It continues as a place for inspiration and to inspire people to give their time. So that they too can walk down a better path.
A gift of time, a post, and an act of kindness. Today and every day.
This blog is my gift to you.
If there is someone in your life that might benefit from reading something positive everyday, please point them here.