I don’t have enough time. I can’t afford to right now. It’s not convenient for me. It’s too hard. It doesn’t fit in my schedule. Do these phrases sound familiar? Have you used some of them yourself?
We have the tendency to put off performing acts of kindness for a variety of reasons. They might even be the phrases stated above. However, while we are waiting for the perfect time or for ideal circumstances we are missing countless opportunities. Never underestimate the power even the smallest act of kindness can have.
Mark Bezos is a volunteer firefighter in New York City. During a TED Talk, Bezos referred to a thank-you letter that was mailed to the fire department after a house fire incident. The woman who sent the letter thanked the department for all of their help and for their bravery. Yet the thing she remembered most from that night? How Bezos had gone into the burning house to retrieve a pair of shoes for the barefoot woman standing outside in the pouring rain while the firefighters helped extinguish her house. Bezos concluded the TED Talk with a simple statement. “Don’t wait…if you have something to give, give it now.”
No act of kindness is too small. While we may not all have the opportunity to retrieve a pair of shoes from a burning house, we are capable of other acts of kindness. For example, take a moment to smile at the barista who makes your coffee in the morning. Slow down long enough to hold open the door for the person behind you. Wave at your neighbor when you go to check the mailbox. You don’t have to wait until you’re successful or until you have money in order to show someone else kindness.
Want to see the full TED Talk featuring Bezos? Check it out here!