It was an unusually beautiful Sunday afternoon. My husband, son and I had just finished lunch and were walking around a local park. As I was holding my son while he splashed in the fountain, I noticed a young man in a jacket fit for a winter storm walk past us. Not thinking anything other than “why is he wearing such a warm coat on such a beautiful day?” I began to watch him. He strolled over to the nearby trash can and opened it. “Ahhh!” I thought to myself, “he’s homeless” and he began to walk farther and farther away. Every instinct in my body told me to chase after him and offer to buy him something to eat, but I didn’t. I sat there holding my son, and watched him walk away, hungry and carrying the only items he owned in his snow coat pockets.
As several days passed I could not shake the image of this very young man from my thoughts. Why did I do nothing? Why didn’t I jump up and help him? Was it because I was holding my son and afraid of what could happen (in the middle of the day in a public park)? Was it because my husband was watching and I didn’t want him to think I was a danger to myself or my baby? No matter what excuses I created, it became infinitely clear that they were just that…excuses.
Everyday we encounter opportunities to do good, to be kind, to show love, and everyday we miss out on these opportunities by creating excuses and then hesitating. These split-second encounters only allow us a moment to decide what we are going to do, and as quickly as they arise, they are also gone. It is much easier to turn our heads than to act.
I have always wanted to make a positive impact on the world, and now that I am a stay at home mother I have suddenly found myself feeling as though I am making no impact on the world whatsoever. That is, until this encounter occurred. Why do I have to have a heroic profession to make a positive impact on the world? Why can’t I simply do good every single day, and not only take advantage of opportunities to do good, but open my eyes and become more aware of these moments?
I want to change this world for the better. Life is short and I may not be here tomorrow, but I can make a difference with each day I am blessed with. I want to be an example to my son and make him proud of the woman that I am. I wish for him to become a man who is kind, and shows love, and helps others and I want this to be a natural instinct for him. I hope that through my actions, my son will never hesitate to help someone.
CHALLENGE: I challenge all who read this to do one act of kindness and post it on this blog’s page. For each post that is written I will donate $5.00 to Comedian Quincy Jones, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given one year to live. In addition to this, I will attempt to match each act of kindness posted through my own act of kindness and will write a sentence or two explaining what I did. Essentially, with each post, two acts of kindness will have been done and money will be donated to an excellent cause.