Repaying the Kindness of Others

Sometimes a moment unfolds and we take action like a superhero. It does not always have to be like saving the world like Superman or the Avengers. It can be as simple as helping a cat out of a tree, walking the elderly across the street, or helping a child in distress. Blog #7 of my “40 Blogs in 40 Days about my first 40 Podcasts” is just such a story. It is about my 11th podcast. Whether it is saving a cat or saving the universe I do believe no good deed goes undone.

This is not so much about a financial reward, getting some “street cred,” being praised or thanked by the people who benefited. This is about the the great merit, karma, and energy created when you do a good deed. In a very real way the good merit you create is the payment for the good deed. In this type of thinking it is true that “no good deed goes undone.”

Right now a trending concept has been to “pay it forward.” It has been on the forefront of many people’s thinking and speaking. I am a big fan of the idea. Just recently I was at the post office to ship a small package. When I realized I forgot my wallet I said, “Oh no!” The lady next to me the at the counter being served by the other postal worker said, “there will be no “oh nos” today. I told her I forgot my wallet. She then asked me how much my transaction cost. After I told her it was $3.85 to ship, she gave me a $5 dollar bill. “Just keep the rest and pay it forward.” With an extra five dollars in my pocket I was waiting for the right time, place and person to “pay it forward” and give that money. I gave it to a young homeless mother. She was no sincere and grateful to receive the money I knew it was the right move.

The potential of doing good deeds is all around us. We just need to be ready, aware and willing. A simple act of kindness can stay with people their whole life. In some circumstances it can have a very profound affect. I know my life has been dramatically changed for the better by very small good deeds, intentional acts of kindness, and soft words of compassion spoken at just the right moment. I feel it to be one of the special qualities of the human condition to be on either side of this type of experience. 

When I first moved to Boise, Idaho I was still a devoted bicycle commuter and did not own a car. I rode my bicycle everywhere. My first home in Boise was in a residential area with lots of families and kids. I often would see children of all ages riding bicycles around the neighborhood. One day when I was riding home I saw this very young boy take a fall on his bicycle. It was not a hard fall but I could tell he was scared and confused when he hit the ground. As he started to cry I was very close to him and he looked up to see me riding toward him. I did not waste a second as I metaphorically went into my phone booth to change into my superhero outfit. I have always dreamed of being a superhero and now was my moment.

What happened in the next few moments is something very special to me in my memories. I think part of it was I actually did think “this is my superhero moment.” I felt like a superhero as I jumped off my bicycle and jumped into action as I approached. The other part is I truly love helping people. Who better to than a crying child in need? But it is what happened fifteen years later that made that superhero moment so incredibly special. 

To hear the story of how years later this good deed unfolded and became undone click and listen to my One Hand Speaks Storytelling Podcast Episode OHS011. Please feel free to share this blog or my podcast and I ask you to offer a comment with your opinion and feedback! Thanks!

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