The Power of Kindness 718.2

Bob wrote to tell me that, having just lost his bride of 42 years, it’s been deeply important to him to be the beneficiary of grand and spontaneous acts of kindness of strangers.

In one case, he was overcome with emotion while seeking to make copies of all the notes of love and support he received. A young woman seeing his pain hugged him until he regained control.

Weeks later he was at a restaurant and began to cry when he thought about his wife. A waitress sat beside him and held his hand. As long as there are people like that in the world, Bob concluded, there’s still hope.

The great musician Pablo Casals said, “Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he acts on it and listens to it, he is giving a great deal of what the world needs most. It is not complicated, but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act upon it.”

The poet William Wordsworth put it another way, declaring that the best portion of a good person’s life are “little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” And novelist Henry James said, “Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.”

Think how much better the world would be and how much more gratifying your life would be if every day each of us set out to lighten the life or brighten the day of another with simple kindness.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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