11 September 2008


On another blog today I read about random acts of kindness, and the responsibility we each have to do the right thing. I know, that raises the question: "who decides what the RIGHT thing IS?" However, I believe that most people, if not all, would say that to pick up a child's dropped toy as they pass you by on the sidewalk, bending and picking something up for a feeble senior, pushing someone out of the way of traffic, and such, is DOING THE RIGHT THING.

It's unfortunate that it seems most people these days are just too busy to "do the right thing". They're thinking of the long drive home, what they'll cook for dinner, or about the upcoming weekend. So they don't see the little girl drop her favourite toy, the old gentleman who leaves his dollar on the floor because he knows he can't pick it up, the bus that strikes the man who is standing too far off the curb...

Has anyone seen the Liberty Mutual insurance commercial? The one where people see others doing random acts of kindness, or "the right thing", and it inspires them to do the same? If you haven't seen it, or don't remember, here it is:

Doesn't this make you want to be a better person? We should watch this every week, to remind us that we all could be just a little bit better.

The blog I read also includes an amazing story, so I'll paste it here as well (I know, not too original today, but it made me think about karma).

The Starfish Story

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, and so, he walked faster to catch up.

As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects, and throwing them into the ocean. He came closer still and called out "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?" The young man paused, looked up, and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean." "I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man. To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die." Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

Loren Eiseley (1907 - 1977)

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