One Kind Deed
Most of us love hearing about good deeds–kindnesses offered from one soul to another. Hearing of one, we feel momentarily uplifted, convinced that the world, despite all that might be going wrong, is a good place. That people are basically kind and good. That war and murder are aberrations. We feel all this for a moment, and then we go about the business of our life and leave that kind deed behind. The feeling of uplift was nice while it lasted, but we have errands to run, a job to do, children to raise, dogs to walk. We need to shift gears.
Learning of a friend’s good deed, might prolong the uplift. We might recall kindnesses this friend has bestowed on us, or remember bonding moments with this friend. Yet in this circumstance as well, fairly quickly we return to our ordinary life and its demands. We pick up our phones to call our Internet provider to lodge a complaint about slow service. Or we speed off to the local greengrocer to buy the frisee for the salad we have promised to prepare that evening.
The other day, a dear friend of mine who is a gardener, told me that because of current physical liabilities, she has difficulty working at times. This friend is passionate about her work. And her customers are passionate about her. On both counts, she refuses to remain at home. Her gardens and customers need tending!
“It’s not all that bad,” she told me as we talked. “My husband has been coming to work with me!”
My friend’s husband is professor and a professional photographer who shoots fashion shows all over the world. And now, he’s becoming a gardener as well. All, so his beloved wife can continue working, continue her life’s work: tending her gardens and her customers.
Hearing this sent a current of joy through me. The universe was suddenly flooded with light. Such sweetness and devotion. Such loving attention.
That conversation took place five days ago. And it is still with me. It flutters around my heart as I live my life, doing both what I love and what I’d rather not be doing: when I empty the dishwasher or scrub out the compost can, when I walk my little Frankie around the block or pick my granddaughters up from school. Whether I am consciously thinking of my friend’s husband raking up garden detritus for his wife, or something else has caught my attention, my friend’s husband’s sweetness and devotion remain with me.
With this kindness now inhabiting me, I feel positive and loving so much more often. Which means that this husband’s kindness to his wife, my friend, is growing and multiplying, benefitting a wider and wider circle.
In no way is this man’s helping his wife in her gardens a small thing. But he is one person, and one is not a large number. Yet through his actions, he is affecting me, and through my attitude and actions, I may well affect others. What began in one household may in this way become larger and larger. And that is certainly grand!