In life, we have a personality and then we have intentions. Our intentions are our soul, and our personality is our ego. If you ask people what they intend, they intend to be good mothers and fathers, spouses. We intend to be generous and kind. What we intend, however, often gets trumped by our personality. Our personality is flashier than our intentions, which are very quiet, always in the background. We like to be unique and to identify with titles and adjectives – minimalist, court reporter, mother, wife, handsome, metalhead, first place, confident. These titles feed our thoughts and our egos, but rarely our intentions.
The soul has nobler motives than our ego and personality, but it often gets run over by desire. In this new year, we can do more than just “do no harm,” and go a step further to help those that are harmed. People that are harmed are not just harmed by life, but sometimes by their own thoughts and actions.
In movies and plays, the poor as a whole are often portrayed as honest and kind. You can see this in many popular novels. This is not reality, just like a Disney princess story is not reality. In a Disney movie, money, a great spouse, and beauty are given to those women that are kind – we know that this is not true. Same in a novel – the poor just never had a break.
Oftentimes, in the real world, you will see that the poor are ungrateful, vulgar, angry, self-centered, inconsiderate, or self-destructive. We see many who take advantage of kindness, so we justify living by our personality and being less generous because they don’t deserve it anyway or they’re abusing a system. However, we do not deserve any good thing we have been given. Everything we have been given, to those that are religious, we know it is by grace.
So in turn, we should not just give because it is deserved. We give because we were shown compassion, and when you look up to someone, you want to mimic their top qualities. So if we look up to a compassionate God, then we have to be compelled to compassion because that is the gold standard, the inspiration; that is the perfection we all strive for.
If you are not religious, there are many other reasons to care for the homeless and for your community; that can be found on many other blogs. There are many selfish reasons to care for the downtrodden – because we may one day be there, because we also have to share a world with those that are hurt, because it makes us feel better. I ask you though not to focus on what it can do for you, rather, focus on what is needed. Focus on being the light in someone’s life, poor or not. Do one good thing for everyone you meet – whether a smile, a flower, a kind word.
Before I found my career, I was binding transcripts. My mentor could have overlooked me as another, no doubt, naive and entitled 19-year-old, but she had compassion. She brought me a cronut. That cronut was only $3 or less, but it meant more to me than anything else. Kindness is invaluable. Oftentimes, time is required for kindness, more than money. She spent many hours to help me on my journey – building me up and pointing the way.
Eventually, because of her, I finished college, and my brother is currently going to the same school as me. Just one act of kindness can changes multiple lives. Do not overestimate a seed, good or bad. Be kind with your words and actions. Do not let your personality stand in the way of your intentions. Be loyal to your soul, not your personality. Live light and be the light.