hen I was seven years old, I asked my mother, “how do I perform an act of kindness?” One of my first grade teachers, whom I highly respected, had a favorite phrase that was “acts of kindness.” She had millions of posters streaming across the walls of our classroom, emblazoned with bright, bold red and blue words that read “acts of kindness.” My first grade teacher told me that if I could perform one act of kindness everyday, I could make the world much brighter and more beautiful. As I explained this to my mother, she stopped me in my tracks. She took a deep breath and exhaled before she began to speak again. I thought she was going to lecture me, but she simply requested me to close my eyes. Instead of arguing with her, I closed my eyes, and waited patiently for her next command. She began to explain kindness in such a way that I know I can never forget the gift of kindness. She softly, but firmly spoke, “when you perform an act of kindness, something magical happens within you. You feel the mighty waves of the ocean embrace you with so much tenderness and comfort. Your heart beats faster than the beating of the quickest drum. Your arms and legs grow with so much power that you feel that you can lift the heaviest boulder. Most of all, you feel your arms reaching out, eager to hold someone’s hand, your vocal cords ready to shout out the loudest “hurray” for a friend crossing the finish line of a tiring race, and you can’t fight off the urge to smile wide and big. This internal joy is so contagious. You have to share it with all and everyone. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to help someone in need, because all you will feel is true joy. That’s an act of kindness. Do you understand?, she asked. I whispered, “yes” although I knew at the time I didn’t quite understand what she meant. An Act of kindness Type your textat the time I didn’t quite understand what she meant. When I was seven years old, I asked my mother, “how do the walls of our classroom, emblazoned with bright, bold red
I truly understood my mother’s loving words in a race I had lost, leading up to the championships. I have been running ever since I could walk. I joined cross country in middle school and have continued running long distance, competitively and non-competitively, ever since. During this particular race, I had to meet a certain time in order to proceed onto the championships. I was nervous beyond all measure since I also had all my loved ones come to this event to support me. I was so anxious I thought I was going to vomit at the starting line before the race would begin. After a few minutes into the race, I was completely exhausted.I did not know how I was going to survive this race. With each turn across the bending track field, my teammates yelled my time, encouraging me to keep the pace and keep going. My legs ached with so much pain I thought I couldn’t keep running. As I turned my head to the left to wipe off the sweat collecting above my brows, the girl next to me struggled to breathe evenly. She wheezed and coughed, yet she kept pumping her arms faster and faster. She kept putting one leg in front of the other. Her eyes looked like a terrified deer caught in the headlights, and she began to slow down her pace to the point she was ready to walk and give up. At that moment, I felt the act of kindness surged within my soul. I felt the loving embrace of the ocean, my heart beating faster than the quickest drum, my body regaining all the strength I had lost, and I gave way to the inner joy that was ready to explode out into this universe. I looked at her firmly, and yelled with all my might, “you can do this!” With each step we took, we learned to stride at the same pace. Our movements became uniform. I repeated, “you can do this, keep going. You got it. We’re not too far from the finish line.
We’re almost there.” With less than half a lap left for the race, I encouraged her to run with all her might to the finish line. I promised to finish behind her.After the race, we embraced each other as if we were lifelong friends. I had truly experienced the act of kindness. I had learned from that day on and onward that acts of kindness never get old. When I perform more acts of kindness, I experience so much more joy than I thought was even possible. One day, I’m hoping, we will all have oceans of joy stored up within us from performing one act of kindness each and everyday.
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