Random Acts of Kindness
in our Midst
(miracles) do happen in all of our lives. Sometimes
we do not recognize them. We are
too busy with our daily tasks, our many responsibilities, the trials and
tribulations that inadvertently accompany our steps as we want to make the hours
as comfortable as possible for our loved ones and ourselves. Too often we
contemplate the “evil” that was done to us by those who speak loshon horah
(evil ) about us, who snub us, who look down or reject us.
We are so busy dwelling on the burdensome,
negative experiences or feelings that we forget the wonderful, unexpected
deeds that befell us, often when we least expected them.
They were bestowed on us by someone with a “lev tov” (good heart), a
someone who owed us nothing, a malach (angel) who expected nothing, who looks
for no rewards or accolades. It’s
an unknown passersby who runs into a burning building and rescues a sleeping
child; a human being who sends an anonymous money order to a starving family; a
person who donates a kidney to an unknown patient without thinking of himself,
and the person who risks his own safety to defend and rescue an innocent person
from a street attack.
we examine our own lives we will find a number of acts of exceptional kindness
that came our way. I will here
touch upon a few that I personally witnessed or experienced in my many years on
this earth. As a young child I was
sitting on a bench in a train station in Belgium with my destitute, feverish
mother, poorly attired sister, and two-year-old brother, contemplating what to
do next. Having just escaped the
Nazis from Aachen to Belgium, we were frightened and very anxious and hungry.
Two Belgian soldiers approached us and with sign language (we could not
speak their language nor they ours) pointed at us to follow them.
My poor mother was too ill to object and these two angels bought us white
bread, mugs of coffee and chocolates and disappeared into the crowd.
It was the best and most unexpected gift that we had gotten since leaving
we, the four “escapees” were sitting at the harbor in Southampton waiting to
get into the steamship SS Washington that would take us to America, we were
informed that there was no space and it was overbooked.
It was the last boat to leave for the US since the war was raging, mines
were laid in the ocean and we were to return.
Return to where? England
refused to keep Jewish refugees; Germany would kill us the moment we landed
there. We had no funds, but only the steamship tickets that my mother held
in her closed hand. After waiting for hours, a Malach by the name of Mr.
Cartwright came along. He was a
social worker. This gentleman did
not know us but he recognized our agony. He
went up to the captain, who was about to enter as the last person aboard.
Mr. Cartwright hung on to the man's leg and pleaded with him, with tears
in his eyes, to let us “squeeze” onto the boat.
After an enormous struggle we were admitted.
Was this not a Ness (Miracle)?!!! What
did Mr. Cartwright gain? I know for
certain if a Gan Eden (heaven) exists he is there!
was Miss Rhoades, my wonderful fifth grade teacher, who dealt with a poorly
dressed ten year old day in and day out, after a full schedule of teaching, and
spent hours on a daily basis teaching me English.
She received no remuneration for the endless hours of her precious time
that she repeated the concept “either, or”.
I can still hear her clear voice pointing to herself, then to me,
attempting to have me understand that concept.
She was truly an angel who arduously and with almost inhuman effort
succeeded in teaching me the English language.
There are many, many more extraordinary blessings that I experienced in my life and those of my loved ones. When I compare those to the unacceptable, malicious deeds or cruelties, the blessings stand out far above anything else! When I feel exceptionally sad, I take myself back to the Malochim and their deeds and appreciate those folks who truly care! It is a revelation that will help us all to consider when we travel through life!
Dr. Ursula A. Falk is a psychotherapist in private practice and the co-author, with Dr. Gerhard Falk, of Deviant Nurses & Improper Patient Care (2006).