Stories of Kindness from Around the World

Be Vocal In Times Of Beauty


--by singlestep, posted Jan 2, 2014
To stand up and speak out against cold injustice, against the blind wrong-doing that we see in the world-- that is one kind of activism. But there is another kind. A rarer form of fire-in-the-belly commitment to a much less talked about cause. Tell me, do you stand up and speak out when you encounter a moment of unexpected joy, warmth, beauty or compassion in your life? Do you stop to say so when you stumble across something that makes you smile- or are you in the dull habit of registering the remarkable without remark? Are you a bystander of beauty, a mute spectator of special-ness? Do you let the silver-lining moments of the day slide into an insignificant silence-- or do you seize them as the chance to make something bloom?

Sometimes I think of all the nice things I've thought about other people and never shared, of the unacknowledged gifts I've received from the world, and the vast clutter of unuttered statements of gratitude and appreciation. A gentle stain of regret tinges the thought of all those unspoken words, un-acted-upon intentions, stacked up like unpaid bills somewhere in the recesses of my experience. "Be Vocal In Times Of Beauty" I don't fully recall where I first came across that phrase. But I remembered it recently as I was standing near the register at a café where we were holding an event.

I heard a customer tell the woman at the counter, "I just want to say, it makes such a difference to come in here and find you looking so happy to be doing what you're doing. It makes us want to come in here more often, it really does." It struck me that here was someone being vocal in a time of beauty. There was a power to the moment that galvanized action. We had a bowl of smile stones inside the café that were meant for the guests at the event. I grabbed a blue one with a particularly wide smile. The woman was putting cream in her coffee. I walked up to her, holding out a smile card and the little stone. "I want to give you these," I said. Her face lit up in amazement, " How did you know I needed a smile?" She looked down again at the little blue stone smiling up at her. "Thank You," she said, giving me a hug. I smiled and went back to the café to attend to the rest of the event.

Five minutes later the same woman walked in, there were bright tears in her eyes as she leaned over to hold my hand and whisper to me, "You really have no idea how much that meant. My mother and I are here from Hawaii to be with my uncle. He's in the hospital after a triple bypass surgery. We've been here four days and it's been really hard. And then you came by with this smile at just the right time. God bless you! Aloha." And with another swift hug she was gone, throwing a grateful glance over her shoulder as she left.

It dawned on me a little later that my gesture was not so much one of generosity but one of gratitude. She was in essence thanking me for thanking her :-)

Funny how sometimes what goes around comes around more swiftly than we might imagine. But all I really want to remember from this story is-- to Be Vocal In Times Of Beauty.
 
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Readers Comments

Brad wrote: Beautiful story and idea. Thanks for sharing this! May we notice, appreciate and express more beauty in the word, capturing those flitting moments of joy and sharing them to sprinkle their kindness in the world. Muse brad
beetoote wrote: Human spirit is bright.
traceykinohio wrote: So fitting for this very moment! A beautiful post and food for thought. With all my bird feeders filled, every type of bird showed up this afternoon. As i grabbed the camera & shot away, i thanked god with every frame for movement of his glorious creatures. I've also taken on telling folks exactly how i feel - it's a blessing, indeed!
Radha wrote: There is great truth in this. The world needs this. Thanks for reminding that good thoughts need to be expressed.
donnalotus wrote: I love this piece; thank you for sharing. I wanted to gift you karmabucks, but there was no option nor a place to add a "smile". Many smiles to you!
Rajni Gohil wrote: Very inspiring story. How much the world will change if everybody follow this. Thanks for this masterpiece
shobana wrote: Beautifully said!
thaata wrote: A hundred thousand feelings of beauty did not find an expression from me. When i read your story, my mind and heart responded truly to be more expressive in future, for guilt will not change the past. How many opportunities i lost of bringing happiness and joy to others. Thanks to you for nudging me.
Priscilla Ortegon Pepke wrote: Evan: thank you for the time you take daily to send us up lifting, inspiring, beautiful messages.
Yasmin wrote: To me, this is what the occupiers are all about. We are all rising up to say yes to everything that supports life and no to all that does not let life flourish. Occupy your life!

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