March 17, 2019: Searching for Four-Leaf Clovers
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Desmond Tutu
Did you know that the odds of finding a four-leaf clover in a typical patch is about one in ten-thousand? Folklore states if you find one it will bring you faith, luck, and love. But, you have listened or watched the news this week, between the ongoing political fighting in our own country and world, to the wars and horrific event in New Zealand, it seems that our world is sadly lacking in any of those three things.
Or is it because there’s a perceived fascination by the media that this is what the public wants to hear? I have found myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading “news updates” and end up most of the time feeling anxious, frustrated and/or sad.
Yet the mindset that crisis and tragedy sells, can be challenged by the fact that The Chicken Soup for the Soul Book series (inspirational and motivational books) sold more than 110 million copies in the U.S. and Canada. These books have been translated into 43 languages, have been published in over 100 countries, and have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide! (wikipedia)
People need to experience, hear about, and witness acts of kindness. There have been psychological studies which have shown that being kind, had a significantly positive effect on one’s personal happiness.
Yet it seems that learning about acts of kindness in the modern world is like finding a four-leaf clover.
To counteract what seems at times, like overwhelming negativity, I believe we can make an impact in our own lives as well as others. It might seem like a tiny ripple in the face of all the problems in our world, but it’s a positive change.
“It only takes a spark to get a fire going, And soon all those around can warm up to its glowing.” Kurt Kaiser
Setting our intentions to both implement and recognize acts of kindness can be an antidote to the ongoing stream of disturbing events of which we have no control. These acts don’t even have to be grandiose, like giving away a fortune. A kind word, gesture, or offer of help can make a difference in someone else’s life as well as ours.
When I was reflecting on the topic for this blog, I searched for inspirational quotes on the Topic of Kindness. In regards to last week’s news, I found some that that particularly resonated.
1. “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”-Franklin D. Roosevelt
2. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” -Mark Twain
3. “Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” -Albert Schweitzer
4. “The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” -Aesop
5. “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca
6.“Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.” -Andrew Iskander
7. “Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” -Theodore Isaac Rubin
8. “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” -Amelia Earhart
9.“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” -Scott Adams
10.“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”-Barbara de Angelis
Each clover plant varies in its potential to produce a fourth leaflet, just as we all vary in our ability to give and receive kindness. Yet one single act can make a difference, both in our lives and in those of others. We all need a little more faith in the goodness of others, to experience and witness more fortuitous events, and finally increase the amount of love in this world of ours.
Simple acts of kindness can create our own field of four-leaf clovers. Just imagine the possibilities.