Christmas 2012

Right From the Start

This has been an ugly year led by natural disasters, man made tragedies and the politics of personal destruction. On a global basis one is hard pressed to note progress in the advancement of humankind.

And yet, everyday there are acts of extraordinary kindness from one human being to another. There are the acts like New York Police Officer Larry DePrimo buying shoes for a barefoot, homeless man in November. Or the woman in Florrisant, Missouri, who paid for everyone’s dinner at a local pizzeria with a request of the diners to “pay it forward.” Or in my former hometown, Helena, Montana, where KTVQ reported:

“Garrett Thompson of Helena was the recipient of a random act of kindness this week, and now he’s paying it forward.

“He said that a woman approached him candidly at Jimmy John’s on Monday and handed him an envelope, turned around, and then left.

“When he opened the envelope, he found a note attached to five dollars.

“The note read that this person was doing 26 random acts of kindness to honor the memory of the 26 people killed in last week’s Connecticut shootings, and he was number 26.

“Thompson said, “You know, it’s pretty cool to have such a tragedy like that kind of spark interest in people to do good things and kind of renew people’s human spirit. It was pretty touching.”

“Garrett has already passed on the kindness by picking up the tab for some complete strangers at Starbucks.

“He hopes that these acts of kindness become contagious.”

In these random acts of kindness one finds the true spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Day, December 25, is the day that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is of little consequence as to whether His birth occurred precisely on December 25th because it is the totality of His life, His teachings, and His sacrifice that form the foundation of Christianity. And nowhere are His teachings more reflected than in these random acts of kindness by humankind – Christian or not.

The progress in human relations is measured by your treatment of others. It is not measured by governments, or power, or wealth. It is as simple as a new pair of shoes for a barefoot man and as complex as a child’s unshakeable belief in Santa Claus.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas. We hope that you take every opportunity to engage in a random act of kindness.