Acts of Kindness

When things are not going well for us, we tend to go inside (both physically and literally) and huddle.  There, in our state of misery we stay until we think that things will get better and we can emerge from under the covers and re-engage with life.  Yet the longer we stay in that cover, the longer we take to heal.  Reaching out and opening up to others helps to make our own sorrow go quickly.  It is not simply about positive thinking.  It is about taking action.  When our own heart is full of sorrow, it is then we need to reach out and help others overcome their own.  In doing so- whether by listening or helping with chores- this active engagement with others and with life, helps us to overcome our disappointment and sadness.  In such ways, our problems become our ‘mission’- they are no longer obstacles but they are opportunities for growth and renewal.  After going through the pain of several miscarriages, I went on to help others who had suffered similarly.  When finally my son was born, alive and kicking, I realised that even if I had another miscarriage, I was already healed.  Kindness towards others helps us heal mentally and physically-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21900202

There are many new movements around the world, calling for ‘Random acts of kindness’- latest trends on twitter is about someone leaving money in secret locations or buying coffee for others. However, we don’t always have to spend money.  The kindest act someone has done for me which I will never forget consisted of being there and being silent. She just held out tissues while I cried after losing my fifth baby after five months of pregnancy.  This woman did not say irritating  or hurtful things like, “Don’t cry”- “You can always get pregnant again”- “it was only a miscarriage”- “At least you are alive” etc etc which others did in misguided acts of kindness.  She did not have children of her own but yet understood how difficult it was for me.  I bumped into her two days ago after ten years.  I only had to say, “Do you remember?”  She nodded and I squeezed her hand silently. One never forgets true kindness.

the 18/40/60 rule

I am of the sensitive kind and try to please others (as I am sure most of us do).  Most of my life I have followed other people’s hearts.  Now recently I have taken the step of following my own heart and starting writing this blog to give myself some courage and lift.

I read this somewhere- when one is 18, one worries constantly about what others think of them; when one turns 40 one does not care what others think of them and when one is 60, one realises that no one was thinking of them all along!  Well, wouldn’t we be all the more wiser and true to ourselves if we only followed the ’60 rule’.  I think some of us stay at age 40 or even 18 all our lives!  It is not easy but we can start today to be ’60’, no matter what our age.

‘Being 60’ a courageous step- I sometimes feel quite fearful about the steps I have taken recently in my professional and private life but most of the time I feel so happy doing what I have always wanted to do. I wish I had started earlier but at least I have started this journey before the age of 60 anyway, before it is too late.  But even if you are 60, don’t worry or have regrets, it is never too late- just start today!  As Daisaku Ikeda says,”It is not about how others are or how society is. The most important thing is to ask yourself, “What should I do?” and “What can I do?” One who stands up with moral courage and conviction can change society and create waves of transformation around the world.”