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How can I help?


I dropped an apple at the grocery store earlier today. Those thin plastics bags are really slippery, no? I felt the momentary temptation to put the apple back in the pile and select another. Yes, but then somebody else might take home a bruised apple. I didn’t like the feeling of that. So, I studied the apple in question for a moment, noticing several unique aspects of coloring and shape so I could recognize it and popped it in my slippy bag with the others. I’ll eat that one first. It felt good to not contribute to a stranger’s distress.

As I drove home, I thought about a workshop I’d conducted a couple of weeks ago. I was startled when putting out afternoon snacks to find that a package of cookies was actually a package of crumbs. Who dropped it? Did they even know? Did they put it back on the shelf and take another not caring? We’ll never know. Maybe.

What I do know is that kindness is an antidote to indifference. Each time I manage to be mindful enough to choose kindness, I hope I’m cancelling a moment of thoughtlessness (sometimes my own in a less mindful moment). I can interrupt the constant trail of “proof” that someone else is going through the world registering that “no one cares”. I interrupt, for one brief moment, the chain of broken cookies. I’m leaving little energetic, anonymous notes that say “I care. You’re not alone. Not everyone is trying to get you.”.

What if, the next time you bring home a perfect apple or big, round, whole cookies, you stop for a second a wonder if someone else kept the flawed one so you wouldn’t be disappointed? Isn’t perspective wonderful?

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