The Fruit Tree

I had other plans for this post, what with it being the End Of The World today. However, something more important’s come up.

Kindness.

This is true, isn’t it? Kindness is a very big thing. So big, that if we were to take all the stadiums and all the arenas, or any of the venues meant to hold things, I doubt we would even come close to fitting the entirety of palpable and obscure kindness within its bounds. Such as with the amount of molecules in the air or ocean, it cannot be measured. Well, sure, one with a facile mathematical brilliance might concoct an equation, something like this: If the gram molecular weight of H2O is 1+1+16, this equaling 18 grams per mole, the grams of ocean water: (1.3*10^9 cubic km)(10^9 cubic m / 1 cubic km)(10^6 cubic cm/1 cubic m)(1 gram of water/1 cubic cm of water) = 1.3*10^24 grams. And if we divide that by 18 to get 7.2*10^22 moles of water, we can assume that (6.02*10^23 molecules/mole) (7.2*10^22 moles) = 4.3*10^46 molecules of water in the oceans.

You follow that? Yeah, me neither, stay with me, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a very well construed equation, though inherently flawed. For one, we would have to assume that all the oceans are pure water; neither does this equation take into consideration that the molecular level is always changing, always fluctuating. Shall we measure the rain? The heat in which moisture is absorbed? Some will try perhaps, but I think it’s best if we comprehend kindness as one of those properties without brim or border, without edge or brink, an inexhaustible resource, very much like Light and Good.

Ridiculously complicated source: http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/220062#ixzz2FiQqiDh6

It is my opinion that our character is defined not by the things we say, but by the things we do. Over the years I have learned my lesson — the hard way, of course — to not tell people I will “be here” or “do this” or “can help” unless I am one hundred percent sure I will in fact do and be those things; for a man or a woman’s word is only as good as its reputation; and should the content of your repertoire begin to take on that of an elaborate excuse reel, word will spread that your word ain’t so reliable. And so I take heed.

With myself, however, I don’t maintain the same venerable track record. I intend to. The desire does stem from a pure place. But one thing leads to another and . . . poof. My intentions are gone with the wind, taking along with them the dashing Clark Gable.

“Life is short and if you’re looking for extension, you had best do well. ‘Cause there’s good deeds and then there’s good intentions. They are as far apart as Heaven and Hell.” ~ Ben Harper.

Wise words, Ben, wise words in”deed”  . . . sorry, I couldn’t resist a little play on words there. Here’s a few more well stated words, spoken by another great man.

So if I am only so good as what I am doing, this means I actually need to do things. Let us be reminded of what is not doing things:

~ Planning to write a book is not the same thing as writing a book.

~ Pledging to volunteer once a week is not the same as volunteering weekly.

~ Making a solemn oath to eat better and exercise more, is not the same as changing your diet and fitness regiment.

~ Signing up for a cooking class, music class, or dance class is not the same as going to class. (Again, I learned this one the hard way when I let a Groupon expire. So much for my dreams of becoming the modern day Ginger Rogers . . . )

You see how easy it is, though? How easy it is to want to do good things, great things, simple things, while actually doing nothing at all? The heart means well, it does, but it must always be led by the hands and feet.

So how do we change this about ourselves? Good question, Cara, sadly I do not have the answer. Well, I have it for you, of course, because I am you, and I know how your mind works, but for anyone else reading this, the answer will differ. Only slightly, though; because however and whatever you need to do to get there, to actually arriving at action, to doing the things you say you’re going to do, I believe the first step is starting small. Leaping is fun, who doesn’t like to leap, right? But often times it turns out to be a leap to nowhere, or somewhere overwhelming, and then you’re back to square one. And square really isn’t so much fun at all really . . . So let’s start small, shall we?

This is cute. Being the germaphobe I am, though, and it being peak flu-season, I do caution you in sharing your popsicles. Otherwise, share away!

Getting serious: I read something this morning that left me both inspired and moved. In  light of recent events, people all over the word have taken to responding to tragedy and depravity with love and kindness. This is incredibly important. This should not be overlooked or sluffed aside as “another vain effort to do something good yet ineffectual.” Don’t miss it on account of being numb or disgusted with society, please. If you do, you risk depriving yourself witness to the greatest beauty ever conceived, not to mention being a part of it.

We

Are

Meant

To

Do

Good.

But we don’t always, do we . . . My heart, it still hurts. I think of those 26 innocent, precious lives . . . I think of what and who they might have been and done, how their voice might have changed our world. And I cry. I rage. I marvel. I doubt. I feel so many things, it’s as if I am a snow globe and my insides have been shaken up to that point where you can’t really see anything just yet, not with everything chaotic and awhirl.

I cannot change what has happened, and I cannot effect the past with my anger and woe. But I absolutely can do something about the future. For at a certain point, once everything settles, the snow particles land peacefully, I am left with one thing, one extremely valuable possession: Choice. This is mine, all mine, and I can choose to stay outraged, to remain abhorred by the evil that exists in our world, or . . . I can deem to do something about it, starting small, starting with me.

As I mentioned above, people are uniting in kindness. To honor the lives of those taken in the Connecticut shooting, so many have responded with their choice to love; they are spreading that love, that kindness to complete strangers, thereupon encouraging them to pay it forward. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that, while she was out shopping, a little girl approached her, handing her a $25 gift-card to Applebees, and with it the name and age of one of the victims from Sandy Hook Elementary. It also had a note attached, which read, “26 Random Acts of Kindness, one for each child. You are number 6!” The little girl then dashed away, but not before asking my friend to make sure to pay kindness forward.

Are you not inspired to do the same? I am. Immediately I was lit from the inside, determined to not let this glorious beneficence flicker out. Here’s where it gets tricky. I am inspired, I am moved, I am touched, but none of that means diddily squat if I don’t do something about it. So I will. And just to prove how serious I am, I plan to post pictures of my Acts of Kindness.

There’s a millions ways you can participate. You can simply leave anonymous notes and gifts on desks, cars, doorsteps and whatnot, or, like the little girl, you can alter someone’s day by handing them a gift they neither earned nor deserved. The kindness you impart doesn’t need to be expensive; in fact, it doesn’t need to cost a thing. Here is a link that will guide you to 26 things you can do to bless someone. Only, whatever you do, do be sure to make it clear why you have done so. Let people know that in spite of devastation and gross iniquity, when you could and understandably so choose hate, instead you are choosing love.

You have chosen kindness.

http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2012/12/26_random_acts_of_kindness_one.html

In the dark we can remain where we are, huddled against a wall, scared and helpless. Or we can get up, and search until we find the Light.

I’ll leave you with these parting words. My hope is, that like a catchy song you can’t get out your head as much as you’d like to, these words root themselves in your brain, to where one day they will have grown into such gorgeous overladen trees, blossoming with sweet kindness cherries and succulent kindness peaches, bursting with kindness apples, kindness oranges, and kindness bananas, that others cannot help but be affected by your fruity disposition.

Happy Friday, my friends. May you know kindness and extend it at every opportunity.

Love,

Cara

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19 thoughts on “The Fruit Tree

  1. This is a very thoughtful post, Cara, and so very much you and your little light. Somehow I was reminded of Blanche DuBois when she declaried she “depended on the kindness of strangers.” Yes, we want to be kind to family and friends, but sometimes it is even more important to be kind to strangers with no thought of reward. May your attitude be contagious and the fruit trees flourish as random acts of kindness! Peace and joy to you!

    • Glad you enjoyed this, Jonel. So good to hear from you! I have never heard of Blance DuBois, but I think perhaps I should have. I shall Google her tonight.

      Peace and joy returned to you!

  2. That’s the perfect way to demonstrate the true meaning of Christmas. Giving is such a blessing! I love the idea of 26 random acts of kindness in remembrance of the 26 victims. Good really can come from from the worst possible situations. In the midst of this tragedy, I have seen such amazing love and compassion. I sometimes expect the worst, rather than the best in people, but I must say my faith in the goodness of people has been renewed.

    Merry Christmas sweet girl!

    • SO very true, Lori. I tend to expect the worst from people as well, and then am so overcome with astonishment when someones takes the time or attention to do something nice. Knowing that kindness does exist and probably more often than we even know, helps me to want to propagate goodness in the hopes others will catch the scent.

      Lori, I consider you one of my greatest gifts from Jesus this season. I am still smiling from the gift I received in the mail . . . Your kindness is infectious, and I know — I know! — that you are a treasure to everyone around you. Thank you for being in my life. Much love and affection to you and your family. And Merry Christmas!

      ~ Cara

  3. “In the dark we can remain where we are, huddled against a wall, scared and helpless. Or we can get up, and search until we find the Light.” 🙂 i’ll try to remember.

    Merry Christmas, Cara. May you and your loved ones enjoy the blessings and cheers of the season. 🙂 ~ San

  4. You have me thinking, Cara…which often makes my husband very nervous 😉 Hey, it’s good for him. Keeps him on his toes. Have a wonderful, joyous, blessed Christmas. – Nikki

    • Do I, Nikki? About what, won’t you share? 😉 And yes, I agree: good for our men to know we haven’t lost our spunk and kick.

      You have a wonderful +++ Christmas as well, my friend!

  5. Pingback: The Look of Love « Revelations In Writing

  6. Wonderful, inspirational words (as always), Cara.

    I was going to apologize for not getting over here to comment earlier, but — as I progressed through your words — I realized today is the first day I have to absorb them properly. In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for The Big Family Gathering, I may have skimmed the messages and wouldn’t yet have my own epiphany to share.

    With all the Noodle Noggin shenanigans in 2012, I cringed when I did a “look back” at the goals against achievements. As bad as over-committing to others, over-committing and under-delivering with your own goals (writing, physical and spiritual) creates a pit. At some point, you have to quit digging, put down the shovel and say…

    “My actions in the past do not define who I am and how I will conduct myself in the future.”

    Yes, there will be those who question my resolve. They have a right to question. Much like all those failed attempts I made to overcome alcoholism, new behavior won’t be recognized by anyone but me until time and deeds past. After nearly five years of sobriety, my husband continues to be amazed that my Higher Power removed all craving for alcohol.

    One last point: I don’t know that I can truly call my “Pay it Forward” practices altruistic. I receive so much pleasure from the look on the receiver’s face. I do this often and highly recommend it. With me? I don’t have a lot of spare money, but there have been times when I had enough to share with someone who needed it more.

    My message to them? “This is not a loan. It’s a gift. One day, when you’re financially in a position to do so, “pay it forward” to someone else in need.” No strings attached. A year-end $10 tip to the server at Yogurtland brought tears to her eyes. “I can afford to buy Christmas presents now,” she said. You’re right. It’s the little things.

    Happy, blessed holidays to you, Cara. To 2013, the year when I’ll under-promise and over-deliver.

    • And I know I’ve said this plenty of times before, but I just love the woman you are, Gloria . . . I love how honest and open you can be about your shortcomings, and the tenacity that drives you toward improvement.

      I have always believed that it is not the moment we make a mistake or fail that is the problem, but the moment we tell ourselves that is who we are — a mistake, a failure, and that we might never achieve to be more than that. Yes, we are defined by our actions, but actions are not the same as mistakes; those we can learn from, those we can help others avoid, and those bring us closer to the One in whom we are perfect and chosen Holy.

      “To 2013, the year when I’ll under-promise and over-deliver.” What a fabulously punctual New Year resolution.

      Love and peace, and the assurance that who you are rests in gentle, patient hands,

      Cara

  7. “We are meant to do good.” Yes! But so often, we let “life” get in the way and we do nothing. Thank you for a kick in the pants! I now know what the focus of 2013 will be for me. Happy New Year, Cara! I pray you are incredibly blessed this coming year. Your sweet soul deserves it. 🙂

    • You are so right about life getting in the way; and how sad that is, because we should be getting in life’s way. We have the power, each day, to do good, to change someone’s day or mood by saying or doing something kind, and often we don’t for one reason or another. I am hoping this year to be a little braver and more aware, and hopefully in being so, to impart kindness wherever I find an opportunity.

      Thank you for coming by, Rachel. Always love hearing from you! I hope you are well, sweet lady, and I pray this year is an incredible one for you, filled with all kinds and sorts of precious and joyful moments. If anyone deserves love and blessings to rain down upon them, it’s you.

      ~ Cara

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