Saturday, January 15, 2011

Being Nice

I'm reading Three Dollars by Elliot Perlman.  I can't say I'm emotionally attached to the book yet, but it's not making me incredibly bored or anything.

I saw a bit of the movie before...maybe on the Australian screen website? Or maybe I saw it when researching David Wenham.

Wait.  I just checked.  It was on the Australian Screen site. Here's the clip I watched.  

I'm on page 206 of the book right now.

The protagonist (Eddie) is on his way home with curries, and he's stopped by a troubled crying man.   Eddie stays with the man for awhile.  He doesn't give him any concrete type of assistance.  He just listens and acts compassionately.      

The book says, Was the worst part of the encounter his incredulity that I would stop, ask his name, shake his hand, talk to him, and offer assistance, or was it the fact that I had really provided none?

I think our world can be so cruel. Basic kindness can seem surprising and amazing.

Sometimes the world presents an opportunity for people to do heroic things. Like in Queensland.     People have the chance to sacrifice their time, and (potentially) health, to help others. 

This article says that twenty-two thousand people have signed up as volunteers in the humongous clean-up job.  

That's really SPECTACULAR.  

It's wonderful when people do big favors for each other. 

I know a family with Leukemia.   It's horrible and scary.  But it's also beautiful and uplifting to see all that is being done for this family.   People cook for them.  People send them gifts.   People made video tapes of themselves reading children's books to entertain the sick child.  People helped clean the family's house. So many different things.

There are so many ways to help others.  And I don't think simple kindness should be downplayed or overlooked.  It's great if we could do a lot.  But it's also really nice to do little things. Sometimes simple words are really helpful.  Are you okay?  Do you need any help?  I'll pray for you. Do you want to talk about it?  

Listening also is a huge thing we can do for people.  It might seem small, but I think sometimes it can prevent tragedy.  Sometimes desperate people do horrible things. Maybe if they felt someone had listened, they might not have felt so desperate.   

I try to be a good listener, because I think it's so important.  Sometimes I fail though. Sometimes I feel I'm too busy. Sometimes I'm distracted.  And I think I'd be like Eddie in the book. I'd probably worry about the curries getting cold. 

Then again, some people talk WAY too much. It would be a bit much for them to expect someone to listen to them all the time.  We all have our limits, I suppose.