We are living links in a chain of wisdom, handed down through history. One axiom developed in that chain is the Golden Rule:
"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
When we show kindness to another a bridge is built, and by following the Golden Rule to its logical conclusion you will have formed relations with the many people for whom you harbor good feelings. If more of us consciously tried to build bridges, there's no telling where such kindness might take us.
It's important to connect one's life with the larger whole. Without integration there is no meaning, and life without meaning yields despair.
Connections between people grow very quickly. When you give, you have made an investment in another human being. As with any other investment, you will naturally wish to protect it. By following the Golden Rule we give each other a support system, a network, and the comfort of believing that, even when one falls, there is something or someone to fall back on.
Our sense of worth is tied to our self-esteem. To esteem something means to elevate it. So how do we elevate our own worth? How do we esteem ourselves? Think of the items you value either for their aesthetic or functional quality. A nonfunctioning grandfather clock is still valued because it is a beautiful piece of furniture. A nonfunctioning can opener is discarded because it is worthless.
Our value in life depends on our function. But just what is that function? The answer is quite simple. When one begins to purposefully perform acts of kindness, the spirit changes and soon doing good deeds becomes a focal point for our life; doing good begins to be the same as feeling good. The periods of emptiness when we search for the "meaning of it all" begin to fill with acts of kindness.
Most of us ask ourselves questions of purpose that go beyond the routines of our daily lives. The obvious answer is to be kind to one another, to help someone in need, to perform good deeds. Neither wealth, fame, prestige, nor anything external can give us more than a fleeting sense of satisfaction. The only true lasting happiness is within ourselves. Unfortunately, this is too often the last place any of us look.
The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and hands and then work outward from there. If we improve ourselves by doing good for others, we enter each day in the best way possible.
Good deeds really do have the power to change us. We should never consider any act that changes us as futile. No good deed we have done can be taken from us. Good deeds have the magic to turn sadness to singing and despair to joy. Just one small selfless act benefits both the giver and the receiver. In this high-tech, fast changing world what is needed and what is lasting is high-touch people and relationships.
There are indeed many obstacles along the various paths in life, but some are those that we thoughtlessly put there ourselves. We may later stub our toes on the rocks that we threw out to improve our own well being.