Practicing random acts of kindness

The last five years of my life has been visited by a great amount of loss. Some of it intentional. Some very unexpected. Some tragic.

Buddhism discusses loss via several vehicles; Loss (suffering) is the springboard of the Buddha's four noble truths. In those periods of my life when I was consistent in my meditation practice and the study of Tao, my ability to experience loss and gain on equal footing came as easy as the next bend in the road. You didn't squabble or worry or even question. You drove. Sometimes the road turns sharply. Sometimes it goes in one long and straight boring line. Sometimes there are exhausting hills and exhilarating downhills. But it is the road. That is just how it goes.
Here in the West, we have become accustomed to achievement. To gaining something. Win, win, win. We don't do well with loss. You can't forever flip the proverbial coin and always have it land as "heads". You win some, you lose some.

But the tragic loss of loved ones and friends can be difficult to take. Its even more hard when it is the result of an accident or a misdiagnosed illness.

Within the last month I have received two e mails from the families of a fellow bloggers. One gentleman, and a fellow Mason, someone that I went to for counsel on many Masonic matters died unexpectedly from complications from surgery. The other day, I received another from the husband of a blogger who send an e mail to all his wife's contacts; blogger and otherwise. There had been a fire. My blogger friend's daughter died in the fire. My blogger friend is now in ICU with severe smoke inhalation injuries.

My youngest daughter's boyfriend, a two time Iraq war vet, has learned that his Mum has bone cancer.

There is so much pain and suffering in the world and I have always been keenly aware of this fact. I have always sought to heal the wounded, help those that needed whatever I could share. At some point, all my energy ran out. I feel that I have nothing to offer. I am powerless to help.

But that is a bunch of crap. We are surrounded by those that could benefit from even a kind word. We don't have to travel the world looking for souls to save. They are all around us. Working retail, as the Lady and I now find ourselves doing; me doing True Value and Ben Moore paints and her at Subway, we often comment at how many people have come to depend on our positive and listening attitudes. On those days when I am feeling tired and down I often feel irresponsible when I am a wet blanket. Damn! There are already too many of those about. And too often, I am one of them. And I don't like it. So I try to take a deep breath and practice.
Practice those random acts of kindness.
It goes a long way.


mjgolch said…
I think that all it takes to start a healing proscess is to say,Hi how is your day going today.And lend an ear to those that need it.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.Oh by the way a Hug can have a healing effect as well.Big time Hugs and God's blessings comming to your hoouse from my house.
Tim said…
My Bro' Mike...blessing to you and yours as well. I appreciate you hanging round. I have lost so many of my regular readers. But I havn't read the other blogs that I used to read either. Too much on the plate. You know what I mean?
Merelyme said…
yes this is so true. it is a way to combat the sorrow and pain of the world. you keep being is a marvelous thing.
Loralee Choate said…
I felt so terrible about Heather and her daughter. Have you heard any updates on her condition?
Al said…
Thanks for the reminder. I've often thought how a stray and unexpected smile can brighten someones day. I know it does mine.

In our society today, we've lost our sense of connection and have come to depend on those in the service industries to attempt to bring it back. I'm glad you and the Mrs. are taking it upon yourselves to do so but I also think it's a sad commentary on our society.
We could all use a little reminder like this every now and again; thanks for sharing this with us.

Stars Above,
Celestial Rose