KARMA (Kind Acts Really Move Around)

Kind Acts Really Move Around (KARMA) 

To make a difference, you do not have to think on a grand scale of changing the world. It is the collective, frequent, unsung actions of the unknown that propel us to broader dimensions. It is not your job to determine the results of a kind act. To do so, attaches expectations. Expectations of a result defeat the true purpose of random acts of kindness. Let the Cosmos connect the dots.
This story is about a man and his wife who made such a profound impact via unsolicited, unconditional kindness that countless others are benefiting decades later.
Twenty five years ago, a heart broken girl of age twenty three, thought she could eradicate her pain by accepting a job transfer to a new state. She was a manager of a major restaurant chain that was expanding to new locations. The man she had been dating for several years made it clear that marriage would never happen. They could date; however, the heart and mind of this girl told her to release him and move forward. When a transfer opportunity to open a new store was presented, she felt that was her way to get over him. With very little belongings and not ever living in another state…much less, alone…she moved to St. Louis.
The apartment that she could afford to live in did not have a place available for two weeks. Therefore, her first two weeks in St. Louis would be living in a motel. It doesn’t sound so bad; however, when the company quickly informed her they would not be reimbursing her for the motel expenses; a lot changed in the financial arena of her life. The allocated per diem did not go far. Upon arrival, pay day was two weeks away and she literally had only $20 left in cash and a maxed out credit card after calculating the cost to stay in the motel…and not a fancy one at that.
With an unfinished restaurant, her source of food was unavailable. One of the perks of management was not having to spend much on groceries. You ate where you worked. Nothing like working hard, long hours to get a restaurant organized and set for success and not have food to eat there.
She did not know anyone in this strange city. She was broke. She ate very little to stretch the few dollars she had left. When it got down to literally her last dollar, she broke down to call her father for help. They had a strained relationship to say the least…but hunger exceeded the ego. She explained the situation about the money, hotel, food and payday…his only question was, “so, what are you going to do?” She realized he had no intention of helping. Click.
After that failed hail Mary call, she wearily went down to the bar of the hotel to get some water and eat more pretzels that filled the baskets. She was beat down. She had nowhere to turn. She was scared, hurt, and really hungry. Too overwhelmed to think logically.
Out of nowhere, a soft tap on her shoulder was felt. She turned to face an unknown man who stood beside her. Detecting her fear, he informed her he was the manager of the motel and had noticed her wander around with a lost look for several days. He wanted to see if he could help.
She broke down in tears and poured out the whole story to a complete stranger.
After listening, he told her not to worry…she would not go hungry or be without a place to stay. He called his wife to inform her to make some extra for dinner and insisted that it was no inconvenience.
The broken down girl gratefully accepted his kind offer. Little did she realize she was really a student about to learn a top ten life lesson.
For the next two weeks, the sweet middle-aged married couple had her over daily for meals, took her around St. Louis to get familiar with it, and gave her some cash to have for incidentals. They helped her relax while with them and made her smile. They happened to have a daughter her age who was staying over for Christmas break. She showed the same compassion as her parents.  Instead of sensing she was an assumed burden, she actually saw the joy in their eyes in their efforts to help her!
The final act of incredible kindness revealed itself when it came time to pay the motel bill when the apartment was ready. She was informed that the general manager had it marked as paid in full!

Stunned and overwhelmed by the extreme generosity of this man and his wife, she insisted that she would pay them back. Instead of expecting reimbursement, the man simply told her: “We do not want you to pay us back. We were honored to be able to help you during a hard time. All I ask is that when the time presents itself to you…simply pay it forward.”
Detecting her naivete’ of what he meant, he said, “When the opportunity presents itself, you will know.”
While hugging and thanking these people, she knew she could never forget their actions and last request. She learned a new level of kindness. This priceless lesson changed her mindset for the rest of her life. Writing this article has brought this experience full circle…and it is to honor them.
That girl was me. I am forty nine years old now and I have never forgotten them. The crazy thing is I cannot even remember their names. (I got transferred back to the original city six weeks later...but that's another story)  I have tried to live my life as the student her teachers would be proud of.
 The concept of “blood is thicker than water” was replaced with the revelation that we are all interconnected. We are both teachers and students. Embrace learning. Grow by giving.
They will never know the difference they made in my life…and the lives I have crossed paths with long after I met them. How I teach yoga is a direct reflection of them. They lived the words of namaste'.
Join the circle of KARMA. You may not get the accolades for your kindness; but, trust me....every word, act, and deed of kindness REALLY does make a difference.
These words of Aesop are as true now as they were when written: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

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