this question I immediately thought of all my grandiose plans to start a health revolution! I’m an acupuncturist with a passion for integrating life coaching and nutritional counseling into the healing process. I absolutely believe that anyone can heal with a mind, body, spirit approach. And I feel that it is my mission and purpose to spread this message and facilitate healing in others. So when I think about changing the world I think big! I see books, seminars, speaking engagements, an online community, ect… I think about how I can reach as many people as possible in this lifetime.
But as I pondered this question more I began to wonder if that’s what changing the world is really all about. Is it about the books, the seminars, and how many followers I have on twitter? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the grandiose plans and big visions and neglect to remember that healing takes place one person at a time, one moment at a time.
I was in line the other day for early voting for the 2012 election. The line was long and wrapped around the outside of the building. And as I live in Florida the majority of the people waiting in line were senior citizens. I had been standing there for about 40 minutes and was just about to enter the voting station when I saw a woman in a walker arrive at the end of the line. The line was even longer now and I knew that she would probably have to wait a good hour. Clearly standing was a struggle for her and there were no benches or places for her to rest. I immediately motioned for her to come over and take a spot in front of me in line. She seemed shocked, but so very grateful and wouldn’t stop thanking me. Now to me it was no big deal to let one person in front of me, but to her I could tell that it meant so much more. In that moment I thought, this is what changing the world is really all about. It was just one person, one moment, and one small gesture of kindness.
Now I didn’t try and preach to her about how acupuncture could help with her condition. Nor did I give her a list of foods that could help reduce inflammation. All I did was smile and let her cut to the front of the line. How will that affect her in the long run I don’t really know. But I can guarantee for that moment it made her day a little brighter.
The thing is we never know how a small gesture like that will affect someone’s day or even life. We live in a world of cause and effect. Every positive action we put out in the world will have an equal or greater reaction. Kindness begets more kindness. One small act of love can have a ripple effect of goodness that goes far beyond anything we can imagine.
Now do I still want to start a health revolution? Absolutely! I still believe that I can inspire and help people to heal and live healthier happier lives. But I don’t want to get so lost in my big vision that I forget about the simple gestures of kindness. Because I believe that if we want to live in a better world it starts with random acts of kindness. It’s slowing down and letting that car in that’s signaling to get over into your lane. It’s picking up the phone and telling a friend how much you love them for no reason at all. It’s paying the toll for the car behind you just because. It’s picking up that piece of litter in the park. It’s buying your co-worker a pumpkin spice latte just to brighten up her day. Can these simple gestures really change the world? Yes, I believe they can. If we all just started to be a little bit nicer, a little more considerate, and a little more understanding, the world as we know it would transform into a much happier place.
And let’s face it, the world needs changing. I believe that real change isn’t going to come directly from someone’s big business goal or lofty vision. And while these ideals and goals are important to pursue, real change starts simply with one individual being nice to another individual.
The great thing about random acts of kindness is that they can be practiced by anyone, and every day there are countless opportunities to act on. You don’t need a big degree and you don’t need to know the right people. All you need is a smile and some love in your heart that you’re willing to share, and you too can be a catalyst for changing this world.