My Grandpa always told me that do be a good person, I had to perform “Acts of Kindness”. I used to bother him with all kinds of questions about how to perform an act of kindness. He would patiently attempt to explain them to me. He would tell me about holding doors open for people, to assist someone when they needed help or maybe even something small like caring for a sick or injured animal.
After my Grandma had a stroke or two, he used to tell me that sitting with her and talking to her just like we used to was also an act of kindness. Eventually, when she had so many strokes that she had no capabilities of walking and could barely grunt, I finally understood what he meant. Brushing her hair as she lay starring at the ceiling her eyes full of things she wanted to say but couldn’t, I would perform my act of kindness.
I might be crazy but to me, if I would take that extra care and time with a human, why wouldn’t I do it with an animal too. Sometimes in their lives, they need someone to show them love and compassion too.
I call these situations rescues. These are usually animals that no one else wants to take the time or the energy to care for. These are my biggest acts of kindness. I would go without sleep for days, spend half my time making sure they start warm, get food in their bellies and attempt to give them a chance at life.
From an abused dog who is still so scared sometimes she hides in the closet to a tiny little starved piglet….it doesn’t matter. I feel obligated to give them a chance…to care for them and give them the best chance of survival. It doesn’t matter what condition they are in when they come, every single one of them steals a little piece of my heart as soon as I lay eyes on them.
This morning I am sitting here typing, shedding a few tears for a poor little runt piglet that I knew for less than a half a day. She came home with Mr. Farmer last night, so cold and so skinny. I worked to get her all warmed up to have her get violently sick. She just kept expelling stuff out of her mouth in such large quantities that she literally choked to death. It is so difficult to try to do everything humanly possible under those circumstances. Knowing that there isn’t much that you can do. I held her in my arms as she took her last breath, part of me sad to see that I didn’t do good enough but part of me happy that she was in God’s hands and not suffering anymore.
Sometimes acts of kindness are achieved through simple gestures like brushing an old ladies hair or smiling at someone while passing them in the grocery store. Sometimes acts of kindness are the very thing that steals a piece of our hearts. Sometimes, those acts of kindness are given by God’s own hand to end suffering. I have been fortunate enough to learn over the years that God has proved us all with more than we will ever know or fully understand. He knows that I learned this lesson from my Grandpa and even that I give a little piece of my heart away with every act I do.
But you know, for every piece of my heart I lose…something always happens to fill it back up. Maybe it’s even someone else’s random act of kindness that will make a difference in my day.
On a side note, when it comes to animals in need there will never be a day when I will turn one away. Farm animals, cats and dogs are the one’s that seem to happen to me the most. I have several people and organizations that have been known to call me or Mr. Farmer about these types of cases. I do my best to nurse them just as I would any human in need. Not all of them end up as success stories but, no matter what, I know that these animals are not alone when their time comes. They have someone holding them in their arms with a heart full of love.