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Sowing Acts Of Kindness

  • Published
  • By Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kenneth Reyes
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Chapel
While deployed I witnessed one of the most unselfish acts at Camp Al Saylaiah, a busy place with thousands of people passing through every month. One of our very own Special Forces personnel was folding the clothes of someone he didn't know so someone else could use the dryer. 

Some people might have uttered a few choice words before yanking the clothes out of the dryer and stacking them on top of the dryer or table. Maybe some people, after realizing that all the dryers were full and only half of them were on because the other half had completed their cycle and the owners had not returned to claim the clothes, would have said some other wonderful choice words. Some may have decided to keep their clothes in the washer until a dryer became free - not allowing others to wash their clothes. Still some might have said, "I don't want someone else touching my clothes; those are my private things." Do you sense the tone in that response? It's "me," or "mine," instead of acknowledging an act of kindness. 

For some reason, we tend to think the worst of people and that they're not being responsible in attending to their property or in even in the general sense of anything. Why do we have to think the worst? Why can't we give the person the benefit of the doubt and do an act of kindness? 

I guarantee you the person who came back to the laundry room to find their clothes neatly folded was not only shocked but grateful that there are still people in the world who will do acts of kindness because it is the right thing to do. 

Imagine if each of us decided to do an act of kindness each day? Even if it's to say, "Good morning," "Can I get anything for you?" or "Can I help?" Asking people how they are doing and really meaning it would change the climate of our organization and things would get done faster, with more efficiency and with greater results. 

Believe it or not, acts of kindness are not an easy thing for people to do. Many people have baggage because they seldom or maybe never have experienced kindness and are, to this day, cynical, angry, bitter, feel a sense of entitlement or think the world owes them something. Maybe to experience kindness, one needs to offer it. Just the act of doing something kind for someone will make a difference in your life. 

I hope that person returned kindness to someone else. A week later I found myself in the same situation and the words "Practice what you witnessed" went through my mind. I folded the clothes with a smile and with joy.