I was watching The Daily Show last week, and John Stewart led the show with a segment on how The New York City Marathon was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy. He reported that many of the marathon runners volunteered to help instead of going home. John also reported on the Nor’easter that was expected on Wednesday, and stated that the storms were occurring because “we have somehow annoyed God!”
John’s words and delivery definitely gave me a chuckle, but the behavior and willingness of the marathon runners to help others reminded me of a chapter I just read about charity by C.S. Lewis. He states:
“Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did.”
The willingness of the marathon runners to help others, even after the race was cancelled was an act of caring. However, I wondered why do we wait until a crisis before we are willing to help others or treat them with kindness?
“When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will dislike them more. If you do him a good turn, you will dislike him less.”
These statements by C.S. Lewis reminded me of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and the Law of Attraction that she purports in her book. This law indicates that your thoughts attract things to you, whether it be positive or negative, good fortune or poor fortune.
I don’t believe that the denizens of the Jersey shore and lower Manhattan collectively attracted Hurricane Sandy to them with their thoughts. Sometimes things just happen, and it is our choice to learn from these experiences or not. I do think that if we treat others with kindness and respect, even those who get on our nerves, we will see the good in them. Each of us has worth, and it is up to each of us to be willing to treat others that way. This should be a daily occurrence and not just relegated to times of crisis or disaster.
Sometimes it does take a disaster to remind us that we should be kind and caring to others on a daily basis. Being kind begets kindness. If we can find kindness in our daily lives, maybe we won’t be so surprised to see it in others when we’re all within the eye of the storm.