You know that moment when you have an urge to show some love; when you’re consumed by feelings of kindness, compassion and empathy and want to do something selfless.
We all feel it occasionally.
It swells from somewhere deep inside and compels us to reach out and take positive action for the greater good.
There doesn’t have to be a trigger, either. I mean, we don’t need to see a charity collection box, a person struggling with a disability or bear witness to a tragedy to feel like reaching out and touching someone’s life in a special way.
This feeling emanates from the soul. It stirs when we let go of the daily striving and reunify the mind with the one interdependent consciousness binding us all together.
In that moment, we want to help, to understand, to appreciate, to listen, to show love.
This intention takes just a second to arise independently from within, and a second to act upon and truly make an effortless difference to the world.
But all too often we pull out at the very tip of that moment – usually unintentionally. We get distracted by the daily responsibilities nipping at our tail: the phone rings, your child is calling you, the dog wants to come back in from the garden, something on the news catches your attention, the dinner needs cooking, you realise you forgot to email that client back. Whatever it is, the intention dissolves amidst the distraction.
So yesterday, when I caught myself just about to pull out of my intention, I stopped everything I was doing and did two things:
First, I acted.
I had been meaning to call someone I hadn’t spoken to in a long while; someone I knew would love to hear from me. In previous weeks, every time I imagined how lovely it would be to chat, and how thrilled that person would be to get the call, I let life’s perpetual motion drag me off somewhere else.
Having the thought felt great, but the fantasy was preventing the reality from taking place. So instead of thinking about it, I just did it. And it was so very rewarding.
The second thing I did, straight after the call, was begin writing this post as a reminder to stop letting future intentions dissolve into zero action.
As I began writing and breaking down in my mind what it takes to make a positive impact on the lives of others and the world at large, the reality became very apparent – it takes just a second.
We know this already, don’t we? And that’s a huge part of it. We absolutely know what a difference a second can make, but we just don’t take enough of this positive action because we’re too busy letting “life” get in the way. And whether the action is an act of kindness to yourself or someone else, the positive energy that arises as a result benefits everyone in and around the interaction.
For example, let’s say you can see the sun going down out of the window and have a beautiful thought about running outside, sitting on the grass and witnessing day turn to night, but instead you close the curtain and carry on surfing the web or doing the washing up. If you had taken a second to make that intention (thought) happen, you’d be a happier, calmer person for the rest of the evening and probably well into the next day, which would no doubt benefit your life and, because of your improved mood, that of those you come into contact with.
Similarly, maybe an image of the old lady down the street pops into your mind. She’s sitting alone watching TV in her chair; the same chair she sits in and watches TV every day. You think about how it would make her feel if you rang the doorbell and asked if she’d like to come over for a cup of tea and get out of the house for a while. But you don’t. The thought dissolves without action. A wonderful opportunity slips by.
We all think about such things, but how often do we take a second to act?
If we act on these imaginary intentions of good, no matter how insignificant or fantasy-like they seem holed up in our minds, we could collectively change the world. We’d trigger a pinball effect of kindness that would bounce between us and simultaneously raise everyone’s happiness and appreciation of each other.
So, to remind myself to take a second to turn these mental intentions into realities, I wrote a poem (sort of) about the power of being able to change the world in just 1 second through a simple act of kindness or appreciation. Unsurprisingly, I called this “Just a Second”. Maybe it will inspire you to do the same.
Just A Second
It only takes a second to call on another, your neighbour, your friend, your sister, your brother
It only takes a second to make someone smile, to offer your kindness, your friendship and stay just a while
It only takes a second to say that you’re sorry, for causing that hurt, that pain, that worry
It only takes a second to make a small change, to offer a hand or ask someone’s name
It only takes a second to make someone’s day, to say you look great or simply say “hey”
It only takes a second to open your mind, to show some compassion and stop being blind
It only takes a second to turn darkness to light, to see with your heart and do what feels right