Without a doubt, giving of ourselves is the one activity that makes us realize that we’re all connected and that it’s this connection that plays a big part in making the world a wonderful place to be. I can honestly say that I’m the happiest when I’ve done something nice for someone.
Don’t just take my word for it. Try it and see for yourself. The next time an opportunity arises, take the initiative and perform an act of kindness for someone (even a stranger) and notice how you feel.
The best way to give to someone is without expectation that you will get something in return. The reward for giving or an act of kindness is a simple, but powerful, sense of joy. In fact, when I’m in the giving or kindness mode, I often get the lyrics of the late, great Louis Armstrong stuck in my head: “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”
Years ago, I was having dinner alone at a wonderful restaurant at a hotel in Maui, Hawaii. It was a business expense, so don’t give me a hard time. A couple dined a few tables away. I don’t know what it was about them, but glancing their way I could see that they were completely engaged with each other and it made me feel good. I overheard them talking to their waiter and discovered they were on their honeymoon. I watched as they held hands and gave thanks for the meal. Then they clinked their glasses softly and made a toast. I felt inspired by them and was moved by their obvious affection for each other.
As I finished my meal, I called the waiter over and told him that I wanted to pay for the couple’s dinner. I billed their meal to my room and asked him to add a generous tip for himself. I also asked him not to reveal who paid the bill and handed him a note to give to them when they left. This is what the note said: “One could tell at first glance that you belong together. I wish you peace and joy.”
The next morning, I found a note on the floor by my door. It was from the waiter:
Dear Mr. Rizzo,
I believe what you did last night was a wonderful gesture, and you need to know the true impact you had on our newlyweds. When I told them that someone paid for their dinner, they were surprised to say the least. But when they read your note, they were overwhelmed with emotion. Then they explained why your note had such an effect.
Our newlyweds are having a tough go of it at home. For reasons they didn’t say, their families, including children from their previous marriages, are not too keen on them getting married. So, rather than having a wedding ceremony filled with people who really didn’t want to be there, they decided to come to Maui to get married.
They said that they made a toast and asked for a sign that they did the right thing. You, Mr. Rizzo, were the answer to their prayers. They said you confirmed, through divine guidance, what they already knew about each other. They asked me that if I ever saw you again, to please tell you, thank you. Thank you! Thank you for being their messenger of hope.
Growing up in New York, I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but never a messenger of hope. I liked the sound of it.
The point is, we all have opportunities to be messengers of hope when we give of ourselves and indulge in acts of kindness. These acts of kindness are spontaneous gestures that are driven by a sense of connection with other people and a realization that we’re all dependent on each other as we go through life. It’s really your higher self’s way of reminding you that this is what life is all about. When you give of yourself, though, you are giving to yourself. It gives you a sense of hope in a world that sometimes seems hopeless.
Related: Without Hope, What Good Is Tomorrow?
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