I saw her across the crowded grocery store. She looked perfect. Each hair on her head smoothly in place, expertly applied make-up, beautifully manicured nails, clothes freshly ironed. I glanced in her cart as I came closer, grabbing a plastic bag to fill with tomatoes. Even her cart was organized. Three boxes of whole grain cereal, several kinds of fruit, frozen corn and peas, and two cans of frozen orange juice concentrate neatly arranged. She reached for a bag of mixed green salad and I noticed the large sparkling diamond on her left hand. How was I to know, inside, she was falling completely apart?
Are we really seeing those around us? Those in ordinary situations we meet everyday? How do we know who needs a warm smile, a hello, a few words of friendly conversation? Do we think it couldn't be the ones crossing our path looking as if they have it all together. Is it really just the ones whose countenance is more obviously down or looking needy in some way?
January first, the beginning of a brand new year. We're faced with a declining economy, increasing loss of homes and jobs, an unfinished war, and the leading baton of our government is passing hands. In some ways the future seems more uncertain in many of our lifetimes than ever before. Money may be tight, and worries heavy--but kindness, what is most important--is still free.
The very nature of kindness
Is to spread.
If you are kind to others,
today they will be kind to you,
and tomorrow to somebody else.
- Sri Chinmoy