In the last week of our Power of Kindness course, we are looking at Service.
This weeks theme has really resonated with me, because it’s something I discovered for myself recently.
About the value of acts of kindness that are given in a true spirit of generosity – without expecting recognition, praise, thanks, or some other form of compensation in return.
A couple of months ago I made dinner for a neighbour of mine who had been unwell. It was something that I did for her frequently. In a conversation that followed, she was full of praise for another neighbour of ours who had also helped her, but did not recognise my contribution. Nor thank me. At the time I was quite hurt, and I remember coming home and swearing that was the last thing that I was going to do for her.
Then it occurred to me – that if that was how I was reacting, then I was not giving in the right spirit. It should not have mattered how – or if – she reacted.
The next day I took her down dinner again. And this time I did it with a pure heart, and and without expecting anything in return.
And it was a beautiful and freeing experience.
There are infinite ways that we can bring into the life of another person some benefit, relief, kindness, hope and love.
This is true service.
It can also be in the smallest of actions – a genuine smile, giving warm appreciation, truly listening to someone.
If we expect recognition from the person that we provide this service to, we are doing them a dis-service.
The act does not make the recipient feel uplifted or enriched. Instead it takes away it’s beauty.
There is such capacity for beauty in acts of service that do not come with strings attached.
And the ability to selflessly provide kindness and love in this world that so badly needs them.