My Name Is Jason: A Story about Kindness
- The "Pay It Forward" Bumper Sticker
What seemed like an ordinary car ride was anything but ordinary. First, my wife and I spotted a "Pay It Forward" bumper sticker on a truck, then a few hours later we went to a coffee shop and saw a sign that said "Brew It Forward." These synchronicit
We Are All Ripplemakers!
Many of us are not aware of the fact that our thoughts and actions affect others.
A simple gesture of kindness; a pat on the shoulder; a hug; a smile; a positive word of encouragement; or, even, the simple acknowledgment that another exists can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
Imagine a person on the brink of taking their life receiving an act of kindness from a friendly soul. This in, itself, may shift their feeling that life isn’t worth living to one that is. I am sure we have all felt at some point in our life that we do not feel that we fit in. I know that I have. You might walk into a room and feel totally out of place. It doesn’t matter that you know these people. It is the fact that you feel like you don’t belong. You feel like a stranger. Now, imagine that a person approaches you out of the blue and begins conversing with you. It is not the trivial type of conversation that often takes place at parties, but a conversation at the Soul level. You can tell that this is the “real” thing. It is not the superficial ones in which the person is looking for what they can gain. Instead, it is a conversation in which both Souls are honored and respected. They both leave feeling energized and inspired. This is a demonstration on how kindness creates a win-win situation for both people.
Candles of Kindness During Troubled Times
As an adolescent, I hung out with the wrong crowd. We got into all sorts of trouble. We engaged in destructive behavior: vandalism and theft. It was a dark chapter in my life that I’m not proud of. I have learned my lesson and have grown from the experience. I have forgiven myself for what I have done and hope others will forgive me as well.
But all wasn’t dark during this difficult period of my life. There were kind souls that shared their kindness with me. Believe it or not! My economics teacher introduced me to the beautiful soul named Leo Buscagalia. He was commonly referred to as Dr. Love. He loved to hug people. He traveled the world sharing his wonderful messages of love that transcended language barriers. The other wonderful soul was my life science teacher. He believed in me when others did not. He taught me that I had the potential to do great things. These two acts of kindness have had a huge impact on my life. I am truly grateful for these wonderful gifts of kindness.
Our Kindness Affects Others in Unimagined Ways
Another person that believed in me was my Aunt Sandy. Many, many years ago, I shared my poetry with her, and she was very impressed with my work. In fact, she would, on several occasions, visit bookstores in search of my writings. During this time, my work was largely unpublished. In 2010, I self-published my first book of poems and lyrics. I hand delivered a copy to my aunt to show my gratitude for her positive support. I also got to spend some time with my uncle and cousin. We had a great time together. A few days after the visit, I received an email from my aunt, thanking me for the book and the visit. She went on to say that my visit affected her and the family in unimagined ways. I was surprised by her comment. I didn’t think I did anything out of the ordinary. I was only acting with kindness.
My Aunt Jeanne was another person affected by my writings. She was extremely grateful to my sister and me for our inspirational and encouraging words. I was deeply flattered and honored that she put together a wooden plaque that contained an inspirational phrase from one of my articles.
Even though I set the intention of writing inspirational material that is aimed at making a positive difference in someone’s life, we often don’t know how our words are going to impact someone. Some may resonate with the message, while others don’t see any relevance at all. We are all growing emotionally, mentally, and spiritually at different rates. With this said, sometimes it doesn’t matter how positive and inspiring the message is if one is not ready for it.
I love this phrase: “The teacher appears when the pupil is ready.”
Random Act of Kindness from Thailand
We Are Not Invisible!
It is hard to believe with a world population in the billions that there are people in the world that feel lonely and disconnected. But this is a true fact. Some may go as far as feeling completely invisible. This is especially true of the homeless population. We don’t want to see them, so we pretend that they don’t exist. We forget these are living breathing beings that need love and attention too!
In addition, many individuals don’t like seeing mentally or physically challenged people. In the past, they were often hidden from public view. Perhaps the family locked them up in an institution or tried their best to keep them at home, so the family wouldn’t be judged. It is quite clear that we think lowly of these individuals by our choice of words: “Don’t be a retard! He is retarded!” I find these phrases highly offensive, because my experience with these special individuals has been very positive. It has been an honor and privilege to have volunteered and worked with these beautiful souls. Many have taught me the true meaning of unconditional love.
I also want to point out that our society is not very kind and respectful to the “older” population. This is truly sad. Whenever I take walks, I am often greeted by the older folks. I return the greeting. I find it quite amazing that a simple smile or greeting can brighten one’s day! And even though this is true, we still look down upon them. We have become a society that is obsessed with looking young, while getting older is to be avoided at all costs. In fact, people will spend vast fortunes on products and surgeries to remain forever young. However, this is only surface deep. True youthfulness springs from the inside out, as is true beauty. If we take a good look around the world, you will see that the indigenous peoples around the world respect and honor their older population. In fact, they refer to them as “Elders.” Their wisdom and life experience is greatly appreciated. They aren’t cast to the side or forgotten as we treat them in our culture.
Why not learn from the indigenous folks and shift our misguided concepts regarding the older population!
Life isn’t over when we reach our forties. We should not let the Media and the Hollywood Movie Machine have the final say on what is the acceptable age. We know better than that!
There is no product or surgery that can give, a person, wisdom. This only comes with age.
Animals Who Adopt Other Animals
My Name Is Jason
At work I was able to make a positive connection with one of the customers. One day, while an Elton John song was playing over the loudspeakers, a conversation began in which the customer told me about the song writer’s piano. I listened to what he said with full attention. I found what he shared to be rather interesting. I later learned that he was a year older than me. Then, a few months later I saw this customer again. This time, he brought in some canned food from outside. He asked if I could open it up for him. I instructed him to go to the deli department, since they have a can opener. However, as soon as he asked them to open the can, they assumed that he didn’t pay for it. I reassured the deli staff that he brought it from outside. He thanked me and we parted. A week later, I saw the customer again. He came up to me and thanked me again. He told me that I was a man of honor and integrity. Even though I felt like I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, I told him thank you for the kind words. He went on to say that honor and integrity are more important than a person with a flashy suit and money. He said that he would rather be a poor man than a rich person with no integrity. The customer, then, asked what my name was. I told him, “Terry.” He told me his name was Jason. A few days later, while pulling in pallets of flowers and herbs into the store, I saw Jason. I immediately said, “Hi Jason!” He smiled. “It is nice to hear my name,” replied Jason. “It makes me feel special.” I smiled back, and he walked into the store. Later, I found out from another employee that Jason may be homeless. I don’t know if it is true or not. All I know is that I was only showing kindness to a fellow human being.
The next day, while pondering the thought of feeling invisible, the tears began to fall from eyes. It is quite extraordinary that the simple acknowledgement that another human exists and deserves our attention can make all the difference in the world to this person. In a ground breaking rice experiment by Dr Emoto, he showed that the act of ignoring something is far worse than saying harsh words to it. By ignoring something, we are saying it’s invisible—it doesn’t exist.
The simple acknowledgement that another exists; our kind and loving actions; a smile; a hug; a hand shake; and a friendly wave should not be underestimated, for they have the potential of restoring the Invisible Soul.