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Monday, May 10, 2010

Paid for Kindness

After seeing a rather large orb in a photograph I had taken at the Riverwalk I couldn’t wait to investigate the spot and see if it still housed spirit energy. As I approached the area I was treated with the sight of a large gold fish swimming near the surface of the water. I took it as a friendly greeting and sat down on a grassy slope.

I noticed an older man smoking a cigar and using a net to scoop cans out of the water. A woman close by appeared to be helping by using her hands and a plastic bag. I thought how nice of them to be picking up other people’s trash.

Watching their efforts for a little while caused me to feel guilty. Recently my grandson and I had been playing in the park and came across some trash on the grass. I asked him “should we pick it up?” In honoring his no answer I missed a chance to teach him a lesson in kindness.

The memory of this experience caused me to stand and pick up whatever trash I found on my path. After walking some distance on my usual route around the pond I suddenly stopped. On the path right in front of me was a broken beer bottle. I had previously walked over and around this hazard more times than I care to admit and had done nothing to remove the mess.

Realizing that a child or a small animal could get cut on the glass caused me to use my foot to move it from the cement path. The act made me feel good, but at the same time I was embarrassed that I had not been motivated to do it sooner.

I continued around the pond to where I had been sitting, picking up whatever trash was reachable and disposing of it. The man and woman I had seen were now standing near their pickup truck examining its contents. I walked towards them with the intention of commending them for their efforts.

When I saw what was in their vehicle I realized they were scavengers and the cans they had retrieved were part of their haul. I started laughing and wondered if being a role model for kindness counts if you get paid for your efforts. I suspect kindness counts for whatever reason it is done.

In answer to the question that brought me to the Riverwalk on this day; it seems the area does still house spirit energy, just not exactly the way I had pictured it!

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