So hopefully you’ve chosen someone for your act of kindness and been thinking about her/him. This holding the person in mind part of the theme is important as it helps center your thinking on what will be the most helpful, and appropriate, response. Remember, I’m suggesting you not try to fulfill whatever need you’ve determined your friend has. I’m saying to simply provide this person a kindness, something that acknowledges her/his importance and value.
For this week’s inspiration I turn to the outstanding NPR radio program “This I Believe.” The concept goes back to the 1950’s when famed newsman Edward R. Murrow hosted this program in which both famous and ordinary Americans shared their beliefs. NPR brought the concept back several years ago and has an impressive archive of stories, as well as curriculum guides, on its website.
For inspiration, take a minute to read and/or listen to this essay by psychologist Debbie Hall. Entitled “The Power of Presence,” in the essay Hall shares the value and importance of just “being there” for people. She says, “true presence or ‘being with’ another person carries with it a silent power.” That gets at the heart of this theme perfectly. And my recommendation that you first hold the person you’ve chosen in mind starts this “being with” component and accesses the “silent power.” For in first considering your friend you charge your battery and get grounded. Provided you are then present with her/him, what you do as your action is secondary.
Here, as in many things and places, it’s the thought that counts.