I’m currently reading The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway – a powerful book that offers a glimpse of what it was like to be trapped in Sarajevo, where death and terror were daily constants. The randomness of the sniper shootings made the routine trek for water a hazardous undertaking. And yet…
What I most admire are the numerous acts of kindness shown by many of the inhabitants throughout the 1,425 days of siege. The cellist of the book’s title decides to honor those most recently killed in a marketplace by playing his instrument every day in a very exposed area of the city, with snipers on both sides monitoring his actions.
His daily performance has a powerful effect on the people in the city. He offers a respite from the constant terror, causing both the city’s inhabitants and some of the enemy to pause, to find a temporary refuge from an outrageous situation.
Little does he know the ripple effect of his actions. That’s not why he continues to play, despite the personal danger. In his own way he causes a change in his world, although that was never his intent. He simply decides to show courage in the face of evil and take a stand in the only way he can imagine.
And it makes a immense difference.
While most of us will never be in a situation as described in this book, our actions of kindness can have a profound effect on others – most often without our knowledge. And isn’t it exciting to think about where the ripple effects will appear, changing others along the way?
I’m offering this story to remind you that daily acts of kindness are tremendously important and can change the world, one incremental act at a time.
Who’s with me?
Now It’s Your Turn…
Set out to do one act of kindness today. Once completed, notice what was the best part of showing kindness. How can you search out opportunities to show more kindness?