Mean Miss Williams
When I was a thirteen year old student attending James Monroe High School in the Bronx, New York City, I had an English teacher everyone called Mean Miss Williams. In her early fifties and unmarried, Miss Williams treated every student curtly and coldly. She didn't have any friends and my classmates disliked her.
At the time, I was in love. In love with life. And Miss Williams was part of the life I loved so much. So, every time I passed her on my way to class I would smile and say, Good morning (or afternoon), Miss Williams! Glaring, she would sternly scold me, You know perfectly well you are not allowed to speak in the corridor; now be quiet! I would just smile and say, Sorry, Miss Williams!
This went on every day: my warm greeting followed by her cold response. However, within a year, something remarkable occurred. Miss Williams had a change of attitude. Slowly, she became more pleasant to be around. She blossomed, as a flower does when exposed to the sun. Students stopped calling her mean. I was amazed by the change in Miss Williams. It was then that I discovered the power of kindness. It is a power we have to influence the world we inhabit.
The small acts of kindness we perform can create huge amounts of happiness in the lives of others. What a waste it would be to fail to use our power. There's no need to be stingy with dispensing kindness, for unlike money, you wont run out of it by giving it away. Just the opposite. The more you give away, the more you'll receive.
Speaking eloquently on this subject, Princess Diana said, Perhaps were too embarrassed to change or too frightened of the consequences of showing that we actually care. But why not risk it anyway? BEGIN TODAY! Carry out an act of kindness, with no expectation of reward or punishment. Safe in the knowledge that one day, someone somewhere might do the same for you.
Random Acts of kindness
Professor Chuck Wall of Bakersfield College, California got fed up with the negativity appearing in the media. Every day he heard, read, or watched news reports of random acts of violence. Tired of learning about school bullies, road rage, and senseless attacks, he wondered why the media didn't focus more on the positive. So, he coined the phrase, Random Acts of Kindness and encouraged members of his community to report on the acts of kindness they witnessed.
The story was picked up by the wire service and caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who invited Chuck Wall to appear on her show. Oprah encouraged her more than eleven million viewers to engage in Random Acts of Kindness to stop the ugly spread of violence in our society. Because of her show, churches, schools, and other organizations formed kindness groups in thousands of communities across the U.S.
Whether working alone or in a group, we can also contribute to the kindness movement. Once we realize that the absence of kindness is cruelty, and that kindness is the oil that takes the friction out of life, it becomes clear how important it is. Don't be discouraged if the recipient of your kindness, like Mean Miss Williams, doesn't respond. The truth is, whether they show it or not, anyone who stands in the sun will feel the warmth and benefit. What acts of kindness should we perform? That's easy, we should do what we wish to receive from others.
Some would argue that man is cruel, but as Juvenal wrote nearly 2,000 years ago (translation by Hubert Creekmore), Nature in giving tears to man, confessed that he had a tender heart; this is our noblest quality.
Advice from John Wesley
Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can!
© Chuck Gallozzi
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