Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

I was walking the new unbelievably scenic Burren walk along the Cliffs of Moher from Doolin to Liscannór recently and my mind was filled with anguish after reading about the rise of homelessness in our so-called beautiful country and especially the rise in the amount of families and children that are now in need of our kindness and care because they have lost the roof over their very heads and are now living on the streets of our cities.

As I looked out to sea I also had thoughts of the many migrants and refugees who are trying to find hope by putting their lives at risk crossing the Mediterranean sea in treacherous boats and conditions. The song by Glen Campbell Try a Little Kindness started to fill my mind as I walked.

If you see your brother standing by the road, with a heavy load from the seeds he’s sowed. And if you see your sister falling by the way, just stop and say, you’re going the wrong way. Don’t walk around the down and out, Lend a helping hand instead of doubt. And the kindness that you show every day, will help someone along their way… You got to try a little kindness, Yes show a little kindness. Just shine your light for everyone to see. And if you try a little kindness, Then you’ll overlook the blindness. Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.

No Better Thing

Life at the moment in our country is very tough on a lot of people but if we can strive to share a bit of kindness every day, and care for those who suffer pain and strife and if we listen patiently and try to understand, we can make a difference in someone’s life. There is no better thing you can do in life then to help someone, care for someone or love someone. If we try to concentrate on all the positive moments that touch our everyday lives, instead of all the negativity that is going around, we will radiate a positivism to those around us and open the window of optimism for a new tomorrow.

Everybody has something to offer. Indeed, most of us have many things to offer and in a lot of cases, special expertise is not required. We are all capable of giving that which people need most of all: Love. Love translates into time, service and the sharing of oneself. A story I once heard at Mass comes to mind.

Act of Kindness

‘Two boys walked down a road that led through a field. The younger of the two noticed a man toiling in the fields of his farm, his coat and shoes stacked neatly off to the side. The boy looked at his older friend and said, “Let’s hide his shoes so when he comes from the field, he won’t be able to find them. His expression will be priceless!” The boy laughed. The older of the two boys thought for a moment and said, “The man looks poor. See the state of his coat and shoes? Let’s do this instead: Let’s hide a €5 note in each shoe and then we’ll hide in these bushes and see how he reacts to that, instead.” The younger companion agreed to the plan and they placed a €5 note in each shoe and hid behind the bushes.

It wasn’t long before the farmer came in from the field, tired and worn. He reached down and pulled on a shoe, immediately feeling the money under his foot. With the €5 note now between his fingers, he looked around to see who could have put it in his shoe. But no one was there. He held the €5 in his hand and started at it in disbelief. Confused, he slid his other foot into his other shoe and felt the second €5. This time, the man was overwhelmed when he removed the second €5 from his shoe. Thinking he was alone, he dropped to his knees and offered a prayer that the boys could hear from their hiding place. They heard the poor farmer cry tears of relief and gratitude. He spoke of his sick wife and his boys in need of food. He expressed great gratitude for this unexpected bounty from unknown hands. After a time, the boys came out from their hiding place and slowly started their long walk home. They felt good inside, warm, changed somehow knowing the good they had done to a poor farmer in dire straits. A smile crept across their souls.”

We all have poor farmers toiling in the fields of their trials and difficulties along the roads of our lives. Their challenges might not be known to us. But their countenances often tell a story of pain. We have opportunities to hide stones or hide €5 notes in them. We can either help them out or we can walk away? When I hear of stories of kindness being done to others, I’m inspired to do the same. I think most of us are like that. We need each other’s inspiration as we travel life’s highways, trying to figure it all out.

Don’t Give Up

Don’t lose sight of what’s important. Don’t walk away when someone is in need. Don’t lose hope when life gets tough. Don’t give up on your dreams for the future. Don’t sell yourself short in life. Don’t forget how to laugh. Don’t be too proud to cry. Don’t be hateful or hurtful. Don’t forget to say thank you and I love you each and every day. Don’t expect there will always be tomorrow. Don’t forget to smell the roses. Don’t forget that one small kindness pays you back two fold. Don’t forget to try a little kindness. Don’t forget to try a little love, you never know it might go a long way.

Thought for the Week

As your thought for the week please don’t forget that each and every one of us is special in our own unique and individual way—but most of all remember that each day as we join hands in prayers of hope for our future and the future of our children that God’s love shines down upon us and gives us an insight into how loving and caring for others can make such a tremendous difference in people’s lives. As the song goes, “You got to try a little kindness, Yes show a little kindness. Just shine your light for everyone to see. And if you try a little kindness. Then you’ll overlook the blindness. Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets…