Ripples of Kindness Start With Me
Another week, when we have witnessed mindless carnage and like many others I really struggle to make sense of why events such Manchester happen. Over the years I have heard various freedom fighters, and military analysts talk of “legitimate targets”. However in my mind I can see no legitimacy only brutality.
What I was very taken by however was the multiple displays of kindness and generosity demonstrated by ordinary Manchurians in the aftermath of the attack. One homeless man, Steven Jones who helped pointed out that he may be homeless but that he was not heartless. Individuals, over and over again responded to the terror with personal positive actions to help and support.
When we are separated from these events, we tend to be a little less emotional than those who are caught up in it and that is as it should be. Also with that distance comes the idea that there is nothing that we can do that will have any influence. And yet there just might be.
You see just as a stone dropped in water creates a ripple, so too our actions whether positive or negative also create a ripple effect of their own. For an experiment the next time someone smiles at you and you smile back, pay attention as to whether or not you smile at the following person that you meet and then they smile back and the ripple truly begins.
We really witnessed that ripple effect in Manchester where the initial kindness and support demonstrated by first responders and members of the public in the area grew to a real sense of mutual support and community at vigil events as people joined together against the violence.
And so my challenge to you this week is to let the kindness start with you. Let’s make the decision to choose kindness in all of our daily interactions. It may be as simple as holding a door open, or letting a car pull out in front of us. It may require us to take a deep breath, and hold our tongue, when our initial response might be to snap back a harsh response. Being kind is a choice that we make – and it will spread just like the ripple of the stone in a pool of water.