"What can we do?" In the aftermath of yesterday's tragedy, this is a question that we are hearing in our own hearts and all around us. Today, I watched my six-year-old son go on his first class trip out of town to a farm. Yesterday morning
I was simply excited for him and after learning about the tragedy in Boston I found myself slowly getting more jittery. Fear creeps in when an old wound lingers...for me it was how close my then boyfriend, now husband, was to the World Trade Center on 9/11.
I tuned in, I felt in my intuition that my son was safe. I prayed for Liam and his class and for the bus drivers. I prayed deeper for the source of my pain which were the lives affected so grievously yesterday and for that dear 8 year old boy who died. I prayed even deeper for innocence to be protected.
After watching his bus leave, I finally was able to move my legs knowing there was nothing else to do as I was releasing Liam once more into the world and I realize that is one of my sacred duties as a parent. I started walking home with my daughter and this "what can I do" question whispered to me. I saw a few women who work for the city cleaning up the streets. One had her head down a lot, I thought, perhaps not even accurately, that these are people who are so often invisible to those who walk past them. And as I truly believe it is our deepest desire to be "truly seen" I stopped and thanked each of them for being angels to our city and for making where we live so beautiful.
They stopped, huge smiles...my 2.5 year old daughter then spontaneously says "Thank you" and then the woman whose head was previously down looks up and beams, she says"God bless you." It is a small thing to take that time to simply be kind and to simply acknowledge another human being, but it is never a small thing to be seen...
As I write this I wonder, the person/people who were behind this horrible atrocity...they are human too, what if on a deep and fundamental level they feel invisible and out of that invisibility they swim undetected, seething, planning, and worst of all executing darkness. When at a core level they too are human and hence being human just want to be seen--deeply seen--like the rest of us.
Surely practicing an random act of kindness won't bring back 8 year old Martin Richard, it won't solve overnight what is behind such acts of violence and violation, but perhaps it will add more light where it is dark. And perhaps even one day you will find yourself being kind to someone, who unbeknownst to you, was on the brink of a choice to add more darkness to either their life or others. And perhaps by being seen in that moment something shifts and another choice is made...a choice that adds more light instead...and perhaps, just perhaps that makes all the difference in the world.
Random Acts of Kindness...Some Ideas
For more ideas on random acts of kindness...be present to those around you and your heart will know. Want more specific ideas, I will be adding ideas over the next few days on my Facebook page:
and to give a random act of kindness to the city of Boston check out this amazing Facebook page that sprung from the Ann Curry's beautiful heart...one person can always make a difference.
Be the change you want to see in the world...
Love and Light,