Simple, thoughtful acts that make the world a little bit better.
As I left our apartment building, I noticed the planted area in front had gotten a bit weedy. The neighbor who normally tends to the mini-garden is away on vacation. I stopped and pulled a few handfuls of wood sorrel and a bit of encroaching crab grass and went on my way, depositing the plant debris in the trash can around the corner. Chances are no one will notice except me. Well, and God.
I took the dog out that evening and I brought a handful of extra plastic grocery bags. Someone—I don’t know who—put up plastic holders for bags, in case someone walking a dog forgot to bring a poop-scooper. There are no assignments for refilling the containers; it’s something people do because they can. Chances are no one notices except the person doing it. Well, that person and God. And the person who would have been stuck with nothing to clean up after his dog.
It’s been good for me to get in the habit of doing simple, thoughtful acts no one sees. It weakens my need for approval from others, keeps me aware that I can make the world incrementally better and sharpens my eye for seeing the opportunities God puts in my path. It trains my heart in thoughtfulness. And if by chance someone does catch me in the midst of doing a quiet kindness, it may open their eyes to ways they, too, can make the world better.