Acts of Kindness: Acts of Love

There used to be a bumper sticker that reminded people that Random Acts of Kindness were a good thing. Sad that we have to be reminded to be thoughtful and considerate, but I guess we do. The reason for this blog is to revisit that thought and remind everyone that Random Acts of Kindness are more than gestures unto themselves; they are also ways to show your heart to another person; the first steps to showing love.

I’m adopted – so throughout my adult life, I’ve paid attention to topics or comments related to the psychology surrounding that subject. I’ve heard adopted parents say that they love their child every bit as much as a biological mother does and I believe that from experience on the receiving end. It is the ongoing act of caring for another person that develops that love and deepens the connection over time. There is a responsibility involved in having a little person entrusted into your care, making sure that little one has enough of the right things to eat, ensuring their comfort and warmth, helping them relieve a potential tummy ache with a little pat on the back and that eventual burp. All those sweet, gentle acts of kindness nurture the seeds of love. Kissing a boo-boo; wiping a few tears or the extra hugs and cuddling time help create the kind of security little ones require.

So, it is perfectly logical that if our responsibility in this life is to develop our capacity for truly loving our fellow man, we might begin with worrying more about their individual welfare. There are sincere expressions of concern and there are the just the “doing duty” ones. Sending off a check is third-hand affection. Making a perfunctory phone call is just execution, since it’s the content of the call that defines the sincerity. A mandatory lunch or dinner is a second-hand deal but only if you pick up the check. Yet if you offer some much-needed help or advice, that’s caring. If you then follow-up to see how they’re doing, that’s showing your heart. Finally, if you care enough to listen with an open heart and compassion, that’s love.