When kindness becomes as random as second nature, so spontaneous, so heartfelt, so natural, that’s when we are being human, and not doing it as an act. Like Marcus Aurelius said it, “it is courtesy and kindness that defines a human being.”
As we are talking about random acts of kindness, there are many such incidents that I can recall.
It was this one time when I was driving on the highway. I was in the rightmost lane, when in order to take the next exit, a car from the left lane tried to change lane to right, without any indication to do so. My car was probably in that car’s shoulder view, so it missed seeing me and just collided into my car on my side, almost pulling over both, but we survived safely. It was an elderly lady driving that car. I had never been into such a situation before but had heard from others’ experiences that if one is in such a situation, whichever party appears to be more nervous, is the one that gets the blame. In other words, be defensive. Although I did not need to be defensive, as it was quite evident that it was not my fault. I was panicked and shaken, but couldn’t feel anything but compassion towards the gentle lady as soon as I saw the same anxiety on her face. Before I could think how to react, another car that just went past at the time of collision, seeing us both off the road, started rolling backwards towards us and finally stopped. A lady came out and offered help, saying, “do you need a witness? I saw what exactly happened”. That lady’s kind offer to help gave me instant relief, and a quick sense of assurance of my innocence been witnessed ran through me, bringing some ease in the situation. And to be fair, it was passed on by me to the elderly lady, and I rather tried to comfort her. I said to her, “I hope you are okay, it could have been worse, thank god we are both safe”. On that she said, “Oh I appreciate your kindness but I am so sorry this happened, I was just not able to focus today and I know that, but anyways..”, without defending herself, she asked, “what documents should I be sharing with you in order for you to go to the police station to report this incidence?” Within few minutes, we all exchanged the information that we needed to, advising each other of what our next course of action to be, and we were all on our way again. No fighting, no blaming, no shouting, no defending or any rage whatsoever. It was just a fair display of kindness towards each other from all three of us there.
Later, when everything was sorted out, I got a chance to speak to both the ladies on separate times and got to know their state of mind at the time of incidence. The elderly lady was rushing to the hospital to see someone close to her in a serious condition at that time. The lady who offered to help as a witness, was in a road accident few years ago wherein she was falsely reported and blamed and nobody offered her any help as a witness, and she had to pay a huge monetary price for it which was not easy for her. Completely unaware of each other’s story, we couldn’t have offered anything better than just kindness to each other on that day.
When I witness any act of kindness done by anyone including me, it makes me feel as though my heart is expanding. Especially on the days when I am feeling a bit low emotionally, it is very healing to either receive or being able to extend kindness to/from others. I am sure, as humans, we all can relate to that. All the people who we come across, whether we know them or just see them around, carry a story of their own with them in which they are fighting for something or the other, which others may not be aware of. All we can offer each other is kindness, as we don’t know what someone is struggling with in their life. Only by extending kindness to others, we can identify or acknowledge others’ kindness towards us. Kindness is that invisible thread that connects us in the name of belonging to the same species. It is an acknowledgement of belongingness to each other as part of whole. It is only human to be so, and more so, with no expectation in return or else it is mere trading of acts.
I feel kindness is a gesture that heals on an energetic level, even when it is expressed on a physical level. As Mark Twain said, “kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and blind can see.”