A Random Act of Kindness


For the past 6 years, I’ve volunteered for a remarkable organization called Step Up on Second in Santa Monica, CA. Step Up provides permanent supportive housing, meals, and other essential services to adults with severe mental illness, such as severe bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Every two weeks I run a writing group for the members. These folks have faced enormous challenges. In addition to the pain and burden of their illness, they have been stigmatized, marginalized, and sometimes brutalized. Many have been homeless.

Despite (or perhaps, because of) their struggles, many of these folks are highly sensitive and compassionate about the struggles of others. One of the members of my writing group recently wrote a compelling piece about kindness, which he has agreed to share on this blog. For more info about Step Up on Second, visit stepuponsecond.org.

A Random Act of Kindness

By Daniel Concharty

A random act of kindness bathes your soul in a pool of love
You need not swim, just float in the goodness of what a heart can give

I see a man struggling to get to the top of a hill, his entire life packed in his wheelchair
The ramp is steep, but I rise to the rise, and to my surprise I roll him up the hill
I’m on top of the world, my heart racing with altruism
We smile, I wipe my brow, and bow for a deed well done.
His need untold rode a steed in my soul for a random act of kindness

My legs cramped and later I ached, not for myself, but for him.
I pause and think how far I’ve come, how far I need to go
The anger that shrouds my illness staid (for the moment) by a random act of kindness

I’m no better (or worse) than others, nor they than me.
I just convey the pain we all share.
Life isn’t fair, but today’s fare feeds my soul
How lucky I am to perform a random act of kindness
An act of kindred spirits toasting how good life can be when it’s you and me against the world, and for the world, and for one another

A random act of kindness is behind us all the way
We’ll never stray if we try a little kindness
A kiss of kindness is so simple
The dividends roll into our soul, which needs this love to serve the others who quest for the same
I must confide I’m proud that I am so capable to help another, a brother in pain, and not in vain
We fly on the wings of benevolence
Everyday random acts of kindness, in humble silence, each a tiny firefly in a swarm that lights the world

Copyright 2012, Daniel Concharty. All rights reserved.

Photo by Thomas Hawk