There is something naturally unsettling when we hear or read about acts of inexplicable violence around us. From cold-blooded shootings, random crimes, and family tragedies, there seems to be so much need for a sense of peace and hope amidst such hate.
For instance, day in and day out, we read of fathers gone berserk who hold hostage their young offspring in a fit of rage. Equally disturbing was the recent news about a police officer trailing a car with a child and her father; so shocked was the police officer when the father indifferently pushed the child to her death on the roadside.
Then, too we hear of suicide bombers with bombs attached to 10-year-olds who blow up themselves amid crowds. In the middle of such chaos and crime, it isn’t at all startling that the skeptic would easily give up a sense of faith and trust in humanity. In today’s world, how easy it is to lose one’s faith after all.
It is fortunate indeed then that as we welcome Pope Francis, we are all reminded that goodness and fealty can still thrive within our own lives. No matter how cynical many people might opt to be, in odd and simple ways, people can redeem a sense of trust and faith in each other. Such actions are most appreciated too when they are cast as unexpected acts of goodness or random acts of kindness.
Just after the holidays, on a casual drive to the bank, we saw an old man struggling on his feet as he walked on; a man on a motorcycle then stopped a few meters away and alighted with a bottle of water and a sandwich in hand, handed the food to the old man and inquired about how he was. It was such a random kind act tha2t made us admire and smile at such a thoughtful deed.
Then too, we read of simple people who in turn become sudden heroes in times of crises, just as the supermarket employee in Paris recently did to save the lives of a dozen civilians when gunmen barged and rampaged a grocery store last week.
On Monday, the story of how a crew of a fast food chain in Bacolod took pity on an obviously hungry woman, called her and handed her a free meal. In both instances, no one waited for a grand occasion to prove their compassion and kindheartedness.
Maybe it is in when one least expects any reward or recognition in doing good deeds that kindness and faith become sincere and honest; not in grand donations complete with photo ops or documented moments when one hands over help to those in need. Maybe too, it is in those moments when one doesn’t expect a thank you for a caring deed that make for true kindness.
It has often been said that every good deed is noted in each one’s “Book of Life.” If each of us kept note of all the good deeds in our Book of Life, I wonder how many pages we would manage to fill. Wise people say that the opportunity to be kind and generous to others is life’s best fortune; that to be the giver is a true blessing.
And as we welcome Pope Francis this week, it may just be the perfect time for everyone to ponder about how kindness and hope may be lived in simple, even random ways.