Thursday, December 20, 2012

Deliberate Acts of Kindness - a book before its time

Ann Curry started the #26Acts movement after the tragic events in Sandy Hook, based on her experiences dealing with reporting difficult events in the past. It quickly took off, with people realizing that doing positive things for others results in feeling good and how it creates a chain reaction of positivity when they intentionally and deliberately commit themselves to unselfish service for others.

All of this reminded me of Meredith Gould's book entitled Deliberate Acts of Kindness.  In light of current events, I realize that perhaps it was a book before its time.

I once said to Meredith, who was my aide and eventually became a dear friend, that I wanted to read her book Random Acts of Kindness. She gave me a look and said "The title is Deliberate Acts of Kindness."  Ahh, I thought and began to read.  It was only then that I understood the difference. 

The first thing I noticed is that the title is Deliberate Acts of Kindness: Service as a Spiritual Practice.  The book encourages an ongoing commitment to service to others. The table of contents guides the reader to a way of life that embraces service to others in a meaningful way, discussing how to answer the call to serve and decide where to serve.

As I read the book, I began to better understand the role of mature spiritual service - deliberate and intentional acts of kindness unto others as an ongoing commitment in our lives.  This has not only opened up avenues in my life where I see I can be of service, but has broadened my appreciation for those who have shown up in my life in a deliberate and intentional way as well.  One of those people was Meredith Gould, who as my aide for many years, taught me how to not only write about spiritual service but to live it.

Deliberate Acts of Kindness takes the #26Acts movement a bit further, turning it into a way of life. I'm talking about #52Acts and  multiples thereafter as long as we breathe! I can't think of a better way to honor the lives of the children in Newtown and the educators who protected them  - their spirit, their potential, their joy, and their love - than for us to think about a way to live that embraces service to others and commit to that in the new year ahead.

Nor can I think of a better holiday gift for you to get - for yourself and those you love.

Deliberate Acts of Kindness: Service as a Spiritual Practice is available on Amazon

1 comment:

Meredith Gould said...

Thank you! I loved writing that book and disappointed it never found its audience.

In part it's because Deliberate Acts of Kindness was published the week after 9/11 and while you'd think folks would have been more inclined toward kindness, I think everyone was just stunned and scared.

Fortunately, it's an "evergreen" book with durable tips and great quotes from spiritual teachers throughout the centuries. I hope your fine review helps people find this book and use it to support the spiritual practice of generosity.