Those Little Acts Of Kindness

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin

I’m thinking of the gentleman who called my office to say that he drove past my house every day, and that he sometimes saw a coyote prowling around, and knew that I walked my little dog in the same area and wanted me and the puppy to be safe.
And the lady who sent me a package filled with candy and other treats for my Easter basket after I had written about how much I treasure the Easter basket my mom gave me many years ago.
And the thoughtful folks who sent me a Pittsburgh Steelers “Terrible Towel” – in Italian – they had purchased at the famous Steelers Bar in Rome.
And the nice guy who stopped me while I was walking the cemetery to wish me well in my retirement and to thank me for my ministry in Providence and for my “courage” in speaking out on difficult moral issues.
And the kind lady who recognized me in the grocery store and told me how much they liked their new pastor and thanked me for sending him to their parish.
These are just a few of the many little acts of kindness I’ve experienced over the years. In each case it took a little bit of initiative for someone to step forward to do or say something nice. But these little gestures certainly brightened my day and made me happy.
We live in a world where all too often the news is dark and dreary. We hear about war, and violence in our streets, drug addiction, political corruption and divisive social issues. And sometimes our own personal lives can be challenging too as we deal with a variety of problems. There are days when we can relate to the misery of Job: “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery . . . I shall not see happiness again.” (Job 7:1,7)
But then, out of the blue comes an angel, a Good Samaritan, a thoughtful person, whose little act of kindness brightens our day and reminds us of all the goodness in the world. Perhaps these folks will never realize the impact they had, but these little deeds really do make a difference.
Maybe we have to admit that the kindness and thoughtfulness that other people show sometimes embarrasses us. We’re not always Good Samaritans, stopping along the way to help others, are we? Perhaps we can all do better when it comes to spreading a little bit of kindness and care in the world.
Something to think about: Today, resolve to do some little act of kindness for someone.