I speak reguarly to people who feel so much helplessness by what is happening everywhere in our world. Hell, I have felt that way myself a few times. In the past few weeks, two different friends have posted on their personal Facebook walls lovely acts of kindnesses that were notable enough to share with their friends on FB. I have shared both with permission on my own 1,000 Mitzvahs Facebook Page.
Spencer’s post shares how taking a few extra minutes to help someone onto the bus in a wheelchair was eye opening. Spencer notes was his recollection about almost not helping this gentleman because it was a bit inconvenient in the moment. Thankfully Spencer did help and reminds us how simple it is to do the same.
Jennifer shared that while giving her daughter some basic driving lessons in a empty parking lot, a stranger stopped to ask for directions and ended up gifting the new driver with an amazing gift that she will certainly remember forever! When I read this second story, I realized that I am absolutely blessed by the work I do. I read, see, witness and notice so many daily acts of kindness and am fortunate that others also send me wonderful stories as well. It reminds me of the famous Cherokee Folk Tale. Maybe you’ve heard this one.
Cherokee Folk Tale
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I share this because I also realized that EVERY single one of us is welcome to live in this possibility if we simply begin to look for it. These days, you might not feel that way. Our news is bleak and upsetting. Politicians are spewing anger, ego and absolute rhetoric and if you pay attention to only this you will think this is all that exists. However, I invite you to consider that maybe just possibly there is also incredible, amazing generosity, kindness and humility that currently exists right now at the very same time as all this bad news.
So what can you do to tap into this? Most importantly, turn off the television. Turn off the radio. Play classical music. Go out into nature. Bring lemonade and cookies to a neighbor and visit. Buy the person behind you a cup of coffee. Give someone a hug. Hold the door or elevator. Put your cell phone away and start paying attention to individuals right next to you. Talk to them. Listen.
When I began my mitzvah project more than nine years ago, I never knew what each day was going to bring. No one does. But there are blessings and connections, synchronicity and amazing miraculous things that occur regularly and still do, because I feed this wolf. I work to continue to find small ways to actively engage in kindness, but also listen, witness and enjoy others who are also engaged in kindness each day. You can do this too. This will remind you that even amidst the dark news, there still exists humanity everywhere. There is good in this world. We just aren’t being led to believe that by others.
If you want to live in a world with more joy, more abundance, more kindness start today to create it. Start with yourself and then let it ripple out to others. Feed the wolf that will feed you with the abundance that truly exists in our world even today!