— By Aldous Huxley,
It was a COLD, WINDY DAY in Chicago. The time… 6:00am. The place… O’Hare Airport. The mood… tired!
I was going through airport security with 300 of my “closest friends.” As I successfully walked through the scanner, I glanced to my right and one of the security guards was going through the bag of a young Arab man. For an instant, I remember thinking… I am glad they’re checking that bag. I then put on my shoes, gathered my belongings and headed down concourse B in the United terminal.
I had walked about a 100 yards when I heard someone running behind me and yelling, “Sir, Sir.” I turned around to see the young Arab man with a smile on his face, as he handed me my laptop computer that I had left in the bin at security. He then said, “I thought you might need this!”
I thanked him over and over, but he said, “No problem, you would have probably done the same for me.”
For as long as I live, I’ll never forget that moment. We live in a complicated world where it can be easy to be afraid, and easy to be prejudiced. However, I truly feel that 99% of the people in the world, regardless of their skin color or religion, want to do the right thing, and want to be kind when given the opportunity. Therefore, we must always guard against allowing the 1% to sway our thinking. You may not know this, but almost every religion, and every culture in the world, has one thing in common…they teach kindness as a virtue. They teach “their version” of the golden rule…not the exact words, but the same meaning.
The wonderful lesson that I “re-learned” that morning at the airport was this… labeling can be disabling. It was a lesson taught to me by an unexpected act of kindness… one I’ll never forget!
This is one of many wonderful stories in The Power of Kindness (click here). The great English writer, Aldous Huxley, was a pioneer in the study of philosophies and techniques to develop human potential. In a lecture toward the end of his life, he said this:
“People often ask me…what is the most effective technique for transforming their lives?”
He then said, “It’s a little embarrassing that after years and years of research, my best answer is just be a little kinder.”
This is the paradox of the power of kindness. It doesn’t feel powerful at all. In fact, it almost feels too simple to be important. But as Huxley said, it is the #1 thing that can transform your life.
How can that be? Because simply put, kindness is the foundation of a good heart and with a good heart…a good life will follow.