Acts of everyday kindness are all around us. They can come in the form of a kind word, a helping hand, a nod of appreciation, an encouraging smile, a story, a wave, a letter, a gentle caution, a friendly visit or a meal shared. We could think of each one of these acts of everyday kindness as the touch of an angel.
While the kindnesses that people show us, and that we show others, may not take literal flight on fluttering wings, they can bestow a powerful blessing on the recipient.
When a smile, a kind word or a helping hand arrives at the right time and in the right form, it can feel like an angelic gift to the one who receives it.
And it is not only the recipient who may feel that an angel has made a visit. The giver too experiences the glow of their impulse towards caring and generosity.
It is as if in thinking and acting out of kindness to another, we bestow something of the intended gift upon ourselves. In this way, even if the recipient does not choose to take up the intended kindness (perhaps with good reason), a true kindness is never actually wasted.
Even big challenges and sad times can contain blessings—both obvious and hidden. Such blessings or gifts may be in the form of the wisdom that we gain from our hard-won lessons and experiences, or even the simple awareness that we want to do something differently next time.
Perhaps it can be said that those who are most happy are those who have developed the capacity to notice and savour moments of kindness and upliftment, and extract the learning from the challenges along the way. Perhaps tiny kindnesses are scattered throughout everyone’s day, but many of us may be more schooled in noticing what is wrong, and so we are missing out on their frequent appearances. Perhaps we have nurtured a kind of myopia to the everyday angels that visit us on a daily basis?
Angels—the strengths of everyday kindness is a set of cards for thinking and talking about the myriad of ways we give and receive. Not only the big, earth-shattering—and rather rare—moments of good fortune , but all the tiny, everyday ways in which our lives are enriched by our connections with others and with the natural world.
Author: Karen Bedford