Each and every one of us has experienced the benefit of everyday angels in our lives. When one sees a need and fills it, without consideration of compensation, when we put forth effort for the benefit of others without expectation of receiving anything in return, our actions become gifts, enabling some one – or some many – to live their life breathing just a little bit easier.
And our acts of service need not be extraordinary in order to make a difference:
Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s random act of kindness? Had a teacher who went above and beyond the duties of the school day to help you understand a challenging concept? Been in financial need and had a friend or family member help you out?
Have you required the assistance of police or firefighters?
Have you spent time working for social justice causes? Altered your own daily habits in consideration of their impact on the environment? Provided a neighbor with a hot meal, a warm blanket, or a shoulder to cry on in a time of crisis? Did you adopt your pets from a shelter? Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line? Smile at a stranger who looked like they might be having a rough day?
Have you put on a uniform and served your country?
The everyday choices that we make affect others in ways we may not even be aware of. While the magnitude of the gifts are vastly different, the motivations are, at their core, the same. Whether in service to your neighbor, or service to your nation, your actions can have a profound impact on your fellow members of the world community.
Take a quiet moment to think (or pray, or meditate) about the many ways that many others have been angels for you. Consider not only the assistance you were consciously aware of at the time, but those who have been of service “behind the scenes” of your life. Teachers, guides, friends, community workers, soldiers, people unknown… Immerse yourself in gratitude for all that they have given you, without thought for their own reward.
Then take a moment to consider all those for whom your own wings have provided shelter. Allow yourself to feel gratitude for their gift of the opportunity to be of service.
And then take a moment to think; for whom can you be an angel today?