A couple of weeks ago my friend’s Mum died at age ninety-nine. Now, no-one can deny that living for ninety-nine years wasn’t a mighty effort. Of course, for the family there was sadness but it was also a time for remembering and reminiscing.
However, there was a special request by my friend to her work colleagues and friends. She asked that instead of sending her or the family flowers, could each person carry out an ‘act of kindness’ instead. Have to say, I loved this and started thinking about how many active acts of kindness we actually go out of our way to do for others. Some people give their time and caring to others often, others perhaps due to circumstances, not so often.
What I also like about being asked to do an ‘act of kindness’ toward someone else is that we just have to quietly carry it out without naming it or discussing it. It’s a private deal that we have with ourselves – what a fabulous concept to integrate into our consciousness. I love the privacy of purposely deciding what I will do for someone else, when and how. No discussion, no fanfare just a generous (small or big) act with meaning and thought.
An act is a ‘deed, done or performed’ according to the Macquarie Dictionary. To be kind,, according to the same source is to be ‘well-wishing, benevolent, well meant’. The word kindness has a tone all of its own. When I hear the word spoken I listen with a sort of reverence because there is something fundamentally affirming of human nature about the notion of kindness. I think the reference to an ‘act of kindness’ evokes in me a humble and basic reminder of our responsibility to humanity. Anyway, I loved the request and can’t think of a more beautiful and thoughtful way to honour someone’s loved one.