Audacious: (adj) extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; fearless; without restriction to prior ideas; recklessly bold in defiance of convention (dictionary.com)
Do you ever see someone stranded in a broken down car, or out of gas on the side of the road?
Have you ever stopped to help?
I know I haven’t. I drive by, sometimes without so much as a thought about it. Maybe I think That really sucks. Or if it looks really bad, sometimes I will think Wish I could help, but I’m late.
How sad is that?
What’s even more sad is that not stopping is the norm. It’s not normal to pull over and offer assistance. In my 18 years, I cannot recall a single time when I saw someone pull over to help someone who was stuck on the side of the road.
When did that happen? When did it become not only ok to not stop, but normal to not stop? When did we, as a society, stop looking out for one another?
When was the last time you tried to do something nice for someone that was of absolutely no personal gain to you?
One time, I participated in this really cool thing called the Agape Project, where a bunch of churches gathered to serve our community and to spread God’s unfailing love. It was awesome.
As part of this project, each participant was given two dollars to go find dinner for the night. A bunch of us pooled our money and went down to the local store where we bought Ramen noodles and eggs.
When we paid we had a little money left over. Instead of buying something more for ourselves and rather than keeping the extra money, we asked the cashier, “Hey, if we wanted a candy bar, what would you recommend?”
She told us her favorite candy bar and we bought it, then gave it to her.
Now, I realize this doesn’t really compare to pulling over and helping someone on the side of the road, but we walked away feeling like heroes.
She was so surprised and elated. We felt like we had done such a great thing for her.
It was a rush. We felt bold. We felt daring. We felt audacious.
I walked away with a bright red face, a racing heart, and a little spring in my step.
I realize it wasn’t the ultimate form of selflessness. It was a candy bar, for crying out loud. But if you could’ve seen the look on that cashier’s face, you’d understand why we felt like we had changed the world.
I wish I gave candy bars to more cashiers. I wish I performed random acts of kindness more often.
I have a theory.
It’s probably not unique to me, but I think that the world can be changed by small acts of kindness.
I think that if people were to do more things that were of no personal benefit to them, people in this world would be much happier souls.
The problem is that doing these random, nice things takes guts. It takes going out on a limb because doing something nice for someone else, with no prior agenda is suspicious.
People watch. People wonder. People judge. What’s the catch?
The problem is that doing these random, nice things takes guts. It takes going out on a limb because doing something nice for someone else, with no prior knowledge of the person or situation is scary.
People hustle. People take advantage. People can hurt you. What’s going to happen to me?
Random kindness takes guts.
But maybe if we could conjure up the courage to be randomly kind more often, being randomly kind would become the norm.
Maybe if we were all selfless, our priorities would shift from ourselves to others. We would look out for everyone else instead of good ol’ numero uno.
Think about it.
We could change the world.
To me, living simply means to be simply audacious. It means to be bold enough to be selfless. It means being courageous enough to express love to everyone, always. It means to be brave enough to defy the norm in order to change the norm. It means influencing the world by being kind.
So in the coming days I hope you find yourself becoming more and more audacious.
And maybe buying a cashier a candy bar.