Friday, July 22, 2011

The ripple effect of Kindness across mother earth


The Ripple Effects 
Of Kindness 

Life doesn’t begin and end in the country in which one resides. It would be limiting if it did. We should all try to look further afield and not insulate ourselves to a point of losing global perspective. But on another level we need to focus on the person standing right next to us.
According to the Chinese calendar, 2011 is the year of the rabbit. It’s a year to review one's priorities and to plan and makes wishes, with the focus on family, home, women and children. 
This year saw tragedy hit - with Japan's devastating multiple crises - a mammoth earthquake of monumental global proportions, leading to a tsunami of terrifyingly destructive proportions and with it the nuclear plants overheating spewing nuclear waste into the atmosphere. Japan is currently pulling itself back up and their tremendous courage and determination is utterly mind -blowing. On a smaller scale, yet equally devastating for the people of Christchurch NZ, they too, are picking up the pieces and have shown amazing courage, strength, community kindness and unity. And nations and the world always come to the fore in any major global crisis. 
From surviving the ravages of war or nature's unpredictability... through to creating great feats, humanity constantly amazes me.    The tallest skyscraper on the face of the Earth, Burj in Dubai is a case in point. It's height is over 800 metres and it's cost within the region of $4 billion. Another extraordinary technological revolution is the plans for France’s 10 billion-euro project on nuclear fusion, which could revolutionise the power sources on the planet to heights beyond most of our comprehension, and which will commence its experiments in 2018. Not to even start to conceptualise global space  projects. 

Building taller buildings, or achieving more potent results is profound, but really can’t compare with small acts of kindness. Most of us will probably never see Burj in Dubai. And most of us won’t be able to comprehend Nuclear Fusion. But every human being on the planet benefits from small acts of kindness. The World Kindness Movement started in Singapore in 2000. Its motto is “No act of of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” (Aesop). It’s having a positive ripple effect, which is thrilling to take cognisance of. 

I was delighted to read an article which amplified my personal feelings in an edition of Psychologies magazine, titled “Be kind: it does you good”. The article reminds us that Ubuntu means that one is a person because of other people, and that we are intrinsically a socially interdependent species that is genetically imprinted with empathy. I’ve found that if I am in a supermarket queue and smile at the others in the queue, I immediately sense the stress levels around me diminishing, and it also enhances my own sense of well-being. Smiling and greeting the person attending to me has the same effect. It’s sad that we live in a world where people are sometimes fearful to smile, in case it is misconstrued. We live in a world of so much distrust, always on the defensive and on  high self-preservation alert.Yet smiling, I’ve learnt, is like giving a gift of positive energy, which costs one nothing, as opposed to nuclear fusion energy’s multi-billion costs!My husband and I used to eat at a local restaurant in Hilton, KZN regularly and had a lovely waitress called Fortunate. Our relationship had got to a stage where we hugged one another hello and goodbye and eagerly looked forward to our weekly interaction. Her name couldn’t be more apt, as we were fortunate to have developed this friendship with her before we left S.A. She simply gave off a wonderful, sincere warmth and it rubbed off on all those around her. 

“If you want others to be happy, practise compassion. If you want to be happy, practise compassion.” — The Dalai Lama.

• Websites to visit: 

" Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”  (Scott Adams).

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