This is the tenth of 10 weekly reading assignments and kind action recommendations using the book “The Power of Kindness” as inspiration.
Reading: Read the chapter called “Service”
As you move through the week, read the chapter a second time. See what phrases and concepts emerge in this second reading that may not have caught your attention the first time through.
Kind Action: Complete Multiple Acts of Service
As a final action, I offer you this one, to have you mindfully engage in multiple acts of service. Start right away and make it a serious practice throughout the week. These do not have to be big at all. I think you will quickly see how many opportunities to do something kind, nice, generous, and thoughtful are readily available to us.
Do this for family, for friends, for strangers. Perform them spontaneously and plan some in advance. The key thing here, the absolutely most important thing, is that you perform these acts for the reward you get doing them, not as a down payment on future kindnesses you expect to be performed for you.
If you take this assignment seriously and perform it to its fullest, you cannot help but have a meaningful experience.
Kindness as small acts of service. It took me a long time to realize that when someone else offered to help, it was kinder to accept (if I could) than to say “no.” I was used to not wanting to rely on someone else, or to “burden” that person, and rather to do it all myself. Eventually I realized that by saying “no” I was being less kind than if I accepted the gift of their offer. They wouldn’t have offered if they didn’t want to help!
On the other side (my providing service) I have lately been doing more reflecting on how much I offer to take on. Sometimes, too much. So, for me, this week’s lesson of kind service is more about considering it in places I have not done so before – with a stranger, or with someone who has seemed unapproachable before.