As we begin June with a theme of Blessing, I have been pondering the blessings in my life, large and small. I’ve been thinking a lot about what might be helpful and what might be less-than-helpful to others, especially strangers.
The one and only time I remember being a recipient of a random act of kindness from a stranger was a long time ago, on a traffic-jammed rush hour street in northern New Jersey. Traffic was awful, moving slower than molasses, folks were impatient, angry, and drivers weren’t allowing anyone to enter from side roads or parking lots. There was lots of horn-honking, tail-gating, finger-gesturing, and various other undesirable behaviors, at least from my viewpoint.
I grew up in the country in Pennsylvania. It still, forty years later, shocks me how impolite drivers can be in urban areas. During this story, I was relatively new to New Jersey. That evening, I paused to allow someone to merge into the road in front of me. Both of us eventually turned at the next light to enter the Garden State Parkway, and much to my surprise, when I pulled up to the tollbooth (this was long before EZPASS had been invented, so we paid with cash or tokens), that person had paid my toll for me.
I can remember the feeling I had. It was a combination of shock and delight, a bit of awe that a simple act of kindness resulted in an unexpected act of kindness in return. It was a small gesture on both our parts, but the feeling I carried for the rest of the evening and still to this day is wonderful.
In this month of Blessing, we are kicking off a summer of Random Acts of Kindness. I’d like to encourage all of you to join us! Each Sunday, the children will hear a story, work on plans or a gift, and commit to carrying out at least one Random Act of Kindness during the week. We’ll ask the parents to report back to us, and we’ll be placing hearts on the bulletin boards in the office suite. Will you join us?
Each time you see someone from UUCC committing an act of kindness, would you write it on a heart and pin it to our board in the UUCC commons area? Let’s see how much delight and wonder we can add to the world over the summer!
In a world that feels chaotic, this is one way I will be practicing self-care this summer. How about you?
Yours in faith,
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank