Baffling Benevolence


On Thanksgiving day, I sat down with my grandpa and interviewed him using the question “What’s a moment of kindness from your childhood or adulthood you will never forget?”

And he sat. And he thought. And he had nothing.

In fact, he asked me to pause my interview because he couldn’t think of anything. He couldn’t think of a time someone was especially kind to him.

To keep the interview going I shifted the question to allow him to share kind acts he did on to other people. With this he had much to say.

Maybe it’s a generational thing or unique to my grandpa’s sunshine spirit, but he was generous and kind regardless of his circumstances or what had happened to him. He grew up very poor and he worked as a police officer for 32 years and not one moment of kindness did he remember receiving .

It is insane, mind-boggling, completely overwhelming to me that he didn’t become cynical man or calloused to the world. It would have been so easy too! He didn’t turn his back on  the world because it turned its back on him.

I left that interview feeling a call in my own heart. I snap at my mom because I am having a bad day. I don’t help someone who dropped their books because I just bombed a test. I let my situation around me dictate how I treat the world around me. Now I want to make a conscious effort to be kind in  virtue and practice, rather than doing it because of my  situation and chance.


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