Thursday, June 13, 2013

Kindness




Just a simple question today: Is there anything more beautiful than an act of true kindness? 

I was surprised by such a moment today and it moved me as much as any rolling vista or glowing Vermeer.

To give for the act of giving without expecting anything in return, whether the gesture be big or small, is quite...pure. Something akin to Love or Hope, those most ephemeral of emotions, finding form in a manner that always brings light to the dark.

Your thoughts? 




48 comments:


  1. hmmm
    there were times when I was fascinated, amazed when visiting a blog or website
    because that will add insight and knowledge I course. thanks for nice post

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    1. You are welcome. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  2. Good question

    Giving freely uplifts the soul, and the soul responds with pure joy. I believe it is a human need that sadly too many either ignore or don't quite catch onto. I think it is important if a person has a freely giving nature, that they actively seek out people who have the capacity to appreciate. Otherwise, there may be a struggle between freely and bitterness when there's a majority of takers taking advantage.

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    1. I do agree with you that someone whose nature is naturally giving deserves and should be in an environment where that is possible. While I distinguish between the active force behind kindness and simple niceness, I do know that holding on to being nice (and kind when possible) is what squired me through my years of living in NYC.

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  3. I completely agree with you. And it's amazing how much kindness you can still find in practically any part of the world when you have a chance to get in touch person to person. There is some hope for us after all.

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    1. Very true. I just tried to think of a place in my travels where I didn't experience or witness some tiny example of kindness and happily came up blank!

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  4. Agree with you Heather. What I find is, even when we give freely of spirit and anonymously, something wonderful comes back to us, from a source we less expect.

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    1. Well said--it is a gift from a gift when that happens...

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  5. I truly feel that random acts of kindness make the world go round :-)

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    1. Thank you so much for your visit--I certainly couldn't agree with you more! That and a little Love go a loooong way...

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  6. No not much is better than that. It does remind you deep inside that life is about something other than the "chase". The kindness of strangers have been some of the moments I never forget.

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    1. Yes, the surprise of someone you don't know making that effort towards a fellow stranger is beautiful, beautiful. And nearly all of our human interactions are finer and more interesting by far than the chase, N.

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  7. I agree that random acts of kindness can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

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  8. So today at the grocery store in St. Remy I saw a young woman at the check out struggling with those flimsy plastic bags they grudgingly give you here in France when you don't have your own big heavy-plastic bag with handles...or haven't bought one. The clerk who was checking me out noticed it as well and just reached down and handed the woman a bigger, stronger bag...no charge. If you don't live in France this doesn't seem like much but if you know French groceries stores, you know how rare that is. So I say to the young woman, 'Are you walking? Would you like a ride? It's quite hot out.' And as I drove her home she told me she had moved from Portugal to Provence five years ago...that her husband needed the car during the week to work down on the coast...and that in five years of walking all over town with two young kids, groceries and whatever else...and walking to work clear across town every day and then back home...no one had once stopped to offer her a ride. How is that possible?

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    1. I don't know, I really don't. So many of us have become too suspicious of others these days to help I guess? But I am so glad that you did. I read your response at 4:30 this morning when I couldn't sleep and it comforted me because I thought, "thatta Jules."
      Gros Bisous and an American Hug,
      H

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    2. PS. I bet she told everyone she could that you helped her too.

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  9. Hello Heather

    I agree acts of kindness, thoughtfullness and good manners can certainly make our day and the snowball effect is astounding and can be contagious. It starts with us.
    Have a weekend of joy and kindness

    Helenxx

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    1. "It starts with us." So perfectly simple, Helen. I think of you as someone who must be pretty proactive on the Kindness side of things... :)

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  10. There are few things in the world as wonderful as a simple act of kindness... and it's a gift everyone can afford to give.

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    1. My Grandmother would say "It doesn't cost anything to be nice." And yep, the same IS true for kindness. It goes a long way.

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  11. When you live in Paris, acts of kindness are even rarer! I have noticed far more in Blois where we will be moving next year. I have found that kindness to strangers is not part of the culture in France. People who are kind to their family and friends would never dream of helping a complete stranger.

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    1. I can't say that I agree with you on this one, Aussie as I have seen many acts of kindness between strangers while living in France. But I gather you will see a bit more niceness in Blois! :)

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  12. Lovely post which reminds me of so many moments in our recent trip to Italy - our car broke down at midnight in the middle of nowhere and all the help we got was unbelievable. The world has the potential to be a wonderful place. :)

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    1. What an amazing reminder to come out of a tough situation, NK!!!

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  13. Thanks for reminding us of the beauty and preciousness of giving for no other reason than to be of service.

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    1. Service. Good word, Judith.
      Bon Weekend...
      xo

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  14. Kindness and unselfishness... they go together really... are characteristics I truly value. I think there is as much reward in the giving as there is in the receiving...
    This is a perfect reminder to try and give a little kindness every day... Happy weekend Heather... xv

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    1. Thank you, Vicki. Happy weekend to you too! Finally we will have a truly gorgeous one.

      And I think that you are unfailingly kind in what you do. The gestures don't have to be big to make a big impact!
      xo,
      H

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  15. I'm not religious but this lady was something else. She proved her convictions not only with words but actions.
    I think this sums up what giving is:

    “At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.’ Hungry not only for bread — but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing — but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks — but homeless because of rejection.”
    ~ Mother Teresa ~

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  16. Isn't it sad that an unexpected kindness is so unique that it evokes in all of us such a reaction? Wouldn't it be nice if it were so routine that we performed the acts and received the benefits of them as the norm and not something out-of-the-ordinary? Thanks for another thought-provoking post, Heather. Happy weekend to you~ xoxo J

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    1. Oh Jackie...how can I respond? It is so true...Do you think that it was like that in the past? I sometimes do but wonder if I am kidding myself...???

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  17. I love to GIVE...............makes me happy!But I do have to say I am astonished by the lack of thank~yous...........
    Lack of people following through on what they say...........I could go on and on..............I 'm reminded that I should give with expecting ZERO in return........I do not expect anything materialistic just a THANK~YOU!A thank ` you goes a long way for me.....as I said it makes me HAPPY!
    Now, enough complaining and down to the COOP for clean OUT!Almost there................tomorrow D~DAY!

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    1. Eeee! By now the shop is closed and I have to know how you are feeling...?!

      I know first hand what a phenomenal giver you are--and so does Remi!!! We certainly appreciate all that you do and who you are, chere Contessa...

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  18. Kindness is the most important currency.

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    1. And as others have mentioned, probably the most international one. I don't say often enough how much I appreciate your stopping by, Mr. Laoch!

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  19. I truly believe that being kind, giving, generous and having a positive outlook rubs off on others and encourages them to do the same. Obviously it won't always work on everyone but hopefully the universe takes note and sends positive things back :-)

    On another note, I was wondering if you and/or Remi have done the Inca Trail?

    Clare x

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    1. Neither of us have, Clare! I was waiting to respond to check with Remi--and wow has he been all over--so you will have one up on him! :) Travel safely, ma belle--and your response is so you, Clare. So indicative of who you are.

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  20. With Father's Day approaching I am reminded how kind my husband is...and what an example he has set for our children. beautiful post Heather ..thank you....Janey

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    1. That is beautiful, Janey. I have a feeling that their Mom is pas mal non plus... :)

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  21. Someone told me once: "giving is the best cure for not having." I believe that completely. I also believe giving gives us so much.

    Sending you some happy weekend & father's day vibes...

    Thank you for giving us what you do with this wonderful site.

    xo

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    1. Thank you, friend. I used to know that quote better than I do now in my daily life. A very, very important reminder.

      As for Father's Day, it is a sad day still for me, having lost mine not too long ago and too soon. But thank you for the well wishes and for all that YOU do because you are the bomb!! (PS. to NSA agents--I just meant that she is fabulous! Nothing more!!!)
      Bisous,
      H

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  22. Yes. Kindness like love is given without attachments.

    Kindness is also a form of gratitude. To be given an opportunity to be kind.

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    1. Yes, Edgar--that is why I liked Judith's use of the word "service" above. Do you know of her blog? I think that you would appreciate her POV.

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  23. yes, no strings attached acts can warm a heart more than any"thing"

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  24. I think most people, somewhere in their hearts are kind; but we are just too busy to take the time to go out of our way to help others. And often, in my experience, the kindest people are little children, people who've suffered greatly, and those who have little. And no...there is little than can compare with the beauty of kindness.

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