Yesterday, I was driving down the highway when I came to a stop light. While stopped, I witnessed a case of road rage between two people in front of me. I won’t go into detail but it happened right before my eyes and within seconds, windows were rolled down, arms were flailing, middle fingers were flying, and curse words were mouthed. For a minute, I even thought they were both going to exit their cars and get in a physical fight. It all happened very quickly and was all so unnecessary. As I drove off shaking my head, I thought about how unkind people can be in this crazy busy world we live in. Why does it have to be like that? Why can’t people just calm down? Why can’t people just BE NICE to one another? Why do people always have to be so hurried and stressed all the time?
I’m guilty myself. I confess I get caught up in the “rush of life” too and pass up countless opportunities to spread a little kindness to others. My blood pressure has soared before when a car runs out in front of me or cuts me off in traffic. Sometimes I want to flail my arms too. But I just try to take a deep breath and calm myself back down. I wish people could be kinder to each other.
I love the quote about kindness by Aesop. You know Aesop…. the wise Greek teller of animal fables. The quote that is often seen at the end of the fable The Lion and the Mouse that says:
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Such a simple little saying, and yet so beautiful and true. I remember first hearing The Lion and the Mouse fable when I was in kindergarten and I remember reading it to my boys when they were younger. It goes something like this. There is a great mighty lion in the jungle who is sleeping and gets awakened by a little mouse running up his body and over his face. The lion gets irritated and angry and slaps his paw down over the little mouse, so angry that he is ready to kill the mouse and eat him up. The mouse starts begging for mercy, pleading with the mighty lion to release him, telling him that if he will only let him go that he will one day return and help out the lion when he is in need. At hearing this, the lion roars with laughter, wondering how this little nobody of a mouse is going to help him, the giant King of the Beasts. He is laughing so hard that he lets the mouse escape. A while later, the lion becomes caught in a hunter’s snare and can’t free himself. He lets out a mighty roar hoping someone will hear him and help him. The mouse hears his roar and runs to his aid. The mouse gnaws through all the ropes and frees the lion and in doing so teaches the lion a valuable lesson in kindness.
Isn’t kindness what we all thrive on? I think real happiness comes to us when we do kind things for other people. By showing kindness to others, it will return to us. There are so many opportunities to do good for others, to show a little kindness – if only we would just take the time.