Recently, in the evening, I was out at a local grocery store. I had purchased my items and was headed out to the parking lot when I happened to see, directly in front of me, a young woman struggling to get her keys out of her purse. she had 2 bags of groceries and to make mtters a little worse, was trying to navigate with a stroller as well. Suddenly, one of the bags she was carrying came apart, and several items spilled in the lot.I stopped, helped her gather her items and then helped her get them into her car, which was right next to mine as it happened. She thanked me, and I proceeded to head home.
My daughter was with me and on the way back said, “That was really nice of you.”. I didn’t immediately know what she was referring to but then realized it was that I had helped a total stranger out in a instance of some distress. Not a lot of distress, more annoying than anything else. Why I’m thinking about it now is that what I had done, which wasn’t much overall, was without thinking about it. It was an unconscious act. I saw someone that needed help, and that was it. It made me wonder because my daughter had said something, how many times in my life, heck, it the last month or so, that I may have done something similar? Of course, I couldn’t remember, because anything I may have done was most likely in the same state.
Not that I’m giving myself any praise – I’m not – but it’s occurred to me how many times we, all of us, do small things for other people that we never recognize as an act of kindness. We do these things not to be noticed, but just because we happen to see someone that needs help, and we are able, in the moment to provide that help. I don’t go out looking for these situations, in fact, had this young woman been in the next row of parked cars, I probably would not have noticed. In this case though, she was right in front of me. I wonder how many people would’ve have just walked by her without even attempting to help? I’m sure there is a study, some statistic somewhere that measures these little acts between strangers but if I do mine without thinking about it, and others do as well, how accurate would that be? Not very, I think.
As I mentioned above, I have no idea how many times in the last month, if any, I’ve done something similar. Even in the last year. In fact, this recent episode may be my only one, ever. Why do I say that? Again, it’s done without thinking about it, without looking for someone to notice, without any reward. Had my daughter not been there and actually mentioned it on the way home, I probably wouldn’t have thought about it again.
It gives me a little hope for society in general to think there are people among us that do the same.
8 thoughts on “Unconscious Acts of Kindness”
I believe your helping the stranger without forethought is merely a kind, humanist act. Most conservatives would shreik in horror at such a thought. I don’t know why. That your daughter noticed and questioned shows how observant she is so just maybe, she has learned a valuable life lesson, first hand.
I don’t believe it has anything to do with being a conservative or a liberal – just a human being. I’ve known people of all stripes that are selfish and narcissistic thinking they were “too busy” to take the possibly 60 seconds out of their lives to help another person.
Wow! “Most conservatives” would act in a similar manner. Most liberals would probably act in a similar manner. Most people do not ask about political leanings when accepting or offering help. Why in the world would you? Do you decline to help if the person is a different race, sex, age or religion than you? How bizarre is your reasoning! Why go there at all?
Like Conskep, I just do what I can to help when presented with the need and never think about it, not even when there might actually be some danger to me. It is probably one of the best parts of human nature to want to help others. I suspect that Conskep’s daughter has been learning from birth about living as a good person. That is the way ethical behavior is taught and that is why parenting is such an important part of humanity’s future. Sometimes I feel as if it is a lost art, but I think people are beginning to understand again just how very important it is. Get off the phone and off the computer and parent your child if you want him or her to be an ethical person. And…be the person that you want your son or daughter to become.
We are born with kindness encoaded within us. It comes out without our controle to help someone in nead.
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I don’t know that to be true. I wonder, in the incident I described, how many others would have just walked past? My experience tells me that there would certainly be some that just walked past without helping.
That is what I believe. It may be the thing keeping us alive through all destructions. I agree many would have walked past. If they have a mobile, many would bearly see this woman at all. Interesting post. Happy days!
Hmmm…my experience, Jim, is just the opposite. I believe most would offer help and I cannot imagine people not doing so. What do you think is our difference?
Of course, my experience is mostly at Walmart, where the Deplorables shop. Deplorable Conservatives that would call themselves Christian, that is. And me and my family…evil atheists.