Naturally Arising Kindness
I remember Wayne Muller once saying that when people have sufficient time in life, they often find themselves naturally gravitating toward kindness and generosity. I often think of this on busy days when I pull my mail from my mailbox and find a stack of envelopes asking me to donate money to various causes. Some of these envelopes arrive randomly and others arrive because I've given money to the organization in the past. What always causes me to groan is when I receive a receipt for my recent donation, along with an enclosed envelope for sending in an additional contribution. "What??" I often think, "Isn't it ever enough?"
In these moments, I feel about as far away from Muller's described state of being as humanly possible. I feel tired of being generous and I just want all these requests to go away.
It's been curious for me to notice, however, how quickly my desire to be kind and giving returns-- give me a good night's sleep, an open morning, better yet, an idea that comes to me, as opposed to a request arriving in my mail-- and it suddenly feels like there's no greater joy than offering something to someone else.
I guess Wayne Muller was right!