I used to think the better part of the world was selfish.
And then my husband got cancer. And then he died from that cancer.
And I learned that the better part of the world was selfless and good.
I learned that good is quiet, and serves people in gentle ways not advertised to the masses.
I learned that behind the hustle and bustle of the sidewalk there is a movement of service and love. It isn’t often shown in public places, but behind closed doors.
Good doesn’t search the accolades of the world. It isn’t puffed up and clamorous. It is meek and humble and is inside more hearts than can be quantified.
Quiet acts of kindness aren’t often on the news. Sometimes a story or two leaks through and we ask, “Why isn’t the world like this? We need more of this!”
But the world is like this.
I’ve seen it pour into my home like a fireman’s hose.
As I type, there are people serving others. There are people being compassionate by listening, loving, giving, serving…acting on a hum in their heart that tells them there is a job to do.
A quote I read this week: “The world in which we live would benefit greatly if even more men and women would exercise charity, which is kind and meek. It is without envy or pride. It is selfless because it seeks nothing in return. It does not countenance evil or ill will; it has no place for bigotry, hatred, or violence. It refuses to condone ridicule, vulgarity, abuse, or ostracism. It encourages diverse people to live together in love regardless of religious belief, race, nationality, financial standing, education, or culture.”
Sometimes it is a small note. Sometimes it is a hug. Sometimes it’s sacrifice. Sometimes it is hard work. Sometimes it changes others lives. Sometimes it changes ours.
Sometimes it is done behind the scenes, anonymously.
But most of the time, it’s there when we really need it. If we don’t see it, we’re taking it for granted.
We find what we seek.
I’ve learned that Charity isn’t something we donate to; it’s a way of life. It’s selfless acts that are fluttering unnoticed around us at all times.
As we kick off the season when charity becomes the buzzword of the day, it might be appropriate for each of us to pause and redefine what charity really means, and then devise a personal plan to weave our love into others lives.
I promise you, charity lives. It may not live in the trolls’ rants online, but it is all around us, in the real world. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, The Boston Marathon Bombing…they are moments when we were afforded a small glimpse into the ecosystem of charity that lives in the hearts of Americans.
Please don’t let the media jade you during these perilous times. They make money on fear. They can’t find the love because it isn’t boisterous. Hate is boisterous. And it hurts my heart that it's being pandered to.
People. Are. Good.
Even people that think differently than you.
If you trust in anything, trust in that.
"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness." -Lucius Annaeus Seneca