– Mark Twain
Over the weekend, there was a report in the newspaper stating a headline from an article in the Seattle Times, ‘Kindness taught in Seattle school’s online class.’ As course leader Andy Smallman says, “The purpose of this ‘class’ is to have fun while being kind, to see how being kind to others is actually being kind to ourselves, and to start ripples of kindness that will be felt in faraway places.”
You may be curious to know what is taught in the class. According to the newspaper report by Richard Hartung (a consultant living in Singapore since 1992), there are no exams or grades – just homework. Like, do something kind for someone we love and then do something for someone we don’t know. I would like to call it enlisting people into a kindness movement by getting them to consciously perform act of kindness for their loved ones and even for people they do not know.
As Richard says, “Kindness – the ripple with no end.” Indeed, the ripples generate from the act of kindness will travel far and wide; they will go on to affect many others from where they first start. However, the ripples on the surface of the water in a lake will stop if the factor generating the ripples stop. Like the rain stops falling on the lake or someone stops throwing stone into it.
Like the water ripples, the kindness ripples will stop too if we stop being kind. Therefore, we must continue to perform act of kindness in order for the kindness ripples to continue.
Richard asked a question, “Does a kind act here or there really make a difference?” I believe that no matter how small a kind act may be, it will go on to create ripples; it will always make a difference. As Dilbert creator Scott Adams put it more simply, “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Not only that, as stated in the newspaper report, “Thinkers from Confucius to Dalai Lama as well as research from the US National Institutes of Health and many other sources all cite benefits to both giver and receiver.” We don’t need to be a genius like Albert Einstein to understand that; who has not felt good from being kind to loved ones and to strangers?
A water ripple that hits a wall before it disappears may bounce back to its source, depending on the strength of the ripple and how far the wall is. However, a kindness ripple generated will propagate and eventually but surely, it will go back to its source.
Let us take the time today to generate a kindness ripple through a small act of kindness, which will surely bring happiness to the life of others and to yourself.
“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino
Photo credit: mrhayata