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Angel In Disguise

Angel In Disguise, angels unaware, kindness, beacon of kindness, apathy, indifference

People are what you make them. A scornful look turns into a complete fool a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy a woman who, well treated, might have been an angel. Andre Maurois

When’s the last time you thought about an angel in disguise? I am a fan of motivational quotes. They always seem to trip a trigger in my brain. Lately, I’ve worked to keep my eyes open to all the “serendipities” of life and when thinking about this week’s entry, the above quote jumped out on my screen.

And it got me to thinking…

People walk around hoping to present to the world how they see themselves, but often we see them through the lens of our life experiences and judgments. I believe we make those harsh judgments of others based on our own personal notion of “normal.”

Normal? Relative to what? What is normal anyway?

Maybe what I see as “normal” is ridiculously boring and absolutely out of the question for you. Maybe I’m the really weird one in the world and everyone else is sane. Maybe your coworker or best friend is fighting a demon or struggling with a problem and it comes across to you as a snarky comment or contemptuous indifference.

It’s the contemptuous indifference that just absolutely makes me crazy. All of this to say: Kindness.

Kindness

We all have problems and we want them solved. We go looking for answers and – OMG – what if YOU are the answer to someone’s problem that day? What if just by showing up and being kind, you made them feel less alone and more “normal?”

Because of kindness, what if you give somebody a big smile in spite of the bitchy comment they just threw out? You become the angel in disguise because instead of biting back, you empathized with someone who might look and act completely different than you. You cleaned up someone else’s screw-up without telling the whole world and they know there really is good in the world.

Kindness really does matter. Kindness is very important. And many times, your kindness opens the door to marvelous serendipities.

Years ago, I lived in this tiny rent house in a cul de sac just off a very busy highway. One summer day, I was home alone as my son was playing at his friend’s house. Since I didn’t have air conditioning, the windows and doors were wide open.

I can’t remember what I was doing – just putzing around the house on a Saturday afternoon. An older man – who had seen much better days – knocked on my screen door and asked for a glass of water. I brought a glass of water to the door and he sucked it down and asked for another. I brought another glass of water and he quickly drank that, too. He asked for a third and so I went to the kitchen and poured the water, but when I got back to the front door, he was gone.

He disappeared into thin air.

I have no idea what happened to him. He was old and dirty and I didn’t have a clue who he was or where he came from. No one in the other neighborhood houses even saw him.

Was he an angel in disguise waiting to see what I would do? I don’t know. When I told my mother about the experience, she freaked out and started screaming that I could have been killed and what was I thinking and how could I have been so stupid?

All I did was give a glass of water to a thirsty man. I didn’t feel stupid and I didn’t feel threatened at the time that this event took place. Someone was thirsty so I solved a problem (albeit for the short term) and helped another human being.

I simply treated him with kindness instead of cold indifference or even worse — apathy. I don’t know if I really have a guardian angel but, in that instance, some force was watching over me very closely. Call it what you want – guardian angels or serendipity – it all comes down to the same thing – angels in disguise.

My Own Angel In Disguise

One time I dropped a box of business cards all over a downtown street corner. I was late, frustrated and near tears picking up a thousand business cards when a kind soul said “May I help you?” In my frustration I simply said a terse “no thank you” and kept picking up the cards. She said “are you sure?” and I uttered no thanks – then I looked up.

Here was a young woman with studs coming out of her nose, lips, eyebrows, tongue – you name it! She wore odd clothes and had really different hair – I will never forget her.

I wished now I would have said “yes, thank you so much for your help.” But I didn’t – I simply gave her a terse “no thank you.”

I still feel ashamed when I think back on that incident – what if she were struggling that day and by extending a hand of kindness to a stranger, she was trying to reach out as all “normal” human beings do?

Instead of letting her help me, my angel in disguise was promptly rebuffed. I was so uncomfortable allowing (and receiving) help that I couldn’t even say yes, thank you.

Jeez – what an impression I left that day. At best, I was rude and at worst, I was insensitive to another human being who was simply being kind. Boy, do my wings ever need adjusting…

You never know what serendipity will bring when you least expect it so I’m keeping my eyes open for an angel in disguise. What about you? I would love to hear about your angel in disguise. Were you the angel? Or were you on the receiving end of an angel in disguise? Please leave a comment below and tell me your story – I’d love to know about your lovely coincidences.

As always, I would certainly appreciate a like on Facebook or a tweet on Twitter. It helps the Google fairies find Scented Balance and makes you an angel in disguise! ;o)

Melissa

 

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The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly Effect, Make A Difference, Andy Andrews Butterfly Effect, Butterfly Effect Full Movie

Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? I first heard about it years ago regarding hurricanes – “when a butterfly flaps its’ wings in Africa, we get hurricanes in the United States.”

That’s true if you think about it – how else would hurricanes form? The butterfly effect is the same in that every single thing you do matters. Every single one of us make a difference just by being here.

Surely I’m not the only one who has felt invisible at one time or another. Life simply plugs along and happens to us and it seems like very little matters outside of our little corner of the world.

Ah, but you do matter. Each one of us makes a difference with every breath we take. You remember It’s a Wonderful Life don’t you? Jimmy Stewart plays George Bailey who sees his life passing before his eyes, always struggling, never really achieving what his heart truly desires.

And then, one day the world he endures totally collapses.

He’s finally at his breaking point – maybe you haven’t been there, but I have. George Bailey is standing at the edge of a bridge fully ready to jump into the icy rushing river below because it doesn’t seem his life has mattered in the least. Out of the blue, a kindly angel (Clarence) appears to be drowning in the river below and of course, George jumps in to save him because he’s a compassionate human being.

Clarence is earning his wings as an angel and to earn them, he must show George what the world would look like if he were never born. It’s a bleak world indeed. I’ve even thought myself who would notice if I weren’t there? What if I’d never been born?

Let’s see. How would life be if I’d never been born? There would be nobody for my father to call “yardbird”. The puppy I brought home in the 4th grade would have a different home. The Senior Choir would have missed out on a less-than-stellar alto (I absolutely LOVED singing).

Who would have been there to accidentally transfer $100,000,000 to an account in the Commercial Lending Department at Mercantile Bank? Yes, alas that really happened. It got fixed, but it was scary at the time. (Memo to self: please learn the difference between $100M and $100K. Just sayin…)

There would be no childhood with awesome cousins, no fabulous white go-go boots, no Christmas ornaments from Germany, no awesome son, no beautiful daughter-in-law, no grandchildren, no bike riding, no golf and a thousand other events I could mention. And who would drink wine with my sister on her back porch in 105 degree weather?

Seriously.

You see, our lives are intertwined. We DO matter because we touch more lives than we imagine.

How Your Life Matters

In The Butterfly Effect by Andy Andrews, he talks about how each decision we make (or DON’T make), the things we say, the things we do all make  ripples of difference. If you don’t do this, then that won’t happen and by making this choice, that happens – you get the picture.

In his book, Andy says that in 1963, a scientist by the name of Edward Lorenz presented his hypothesis of the Butterfly Effect to the New York Academy of Science. This hypothesis is:

A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air — eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.

He was laughed out of the conference. But guess what? More than thirty years later, the scientific community figured out that the Butterfly Effect was indeed correct.

It’s now known as the “Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.” I think Butterfly Effect sounds better.

Can you see how that works? When a butterfly simply flaps its’ wings on one side of the world, molecules change and we have Hurricane Maria. Make sense?

So what does that have to do with you and how your life matters?

In the end, how your life matters most is through kindness. Our world is cruel, inhumane and heartless. Yes, love matters, but no matter what, you can be kind. Each time you extend a kindness, you leave behind a sense of beauty which has a ripple effect. 

What if your small act of kindness stopped someone from doing the unthinkable? Can you imagine if you were the only one that was kind to some stranger today – what impact do you think your kindness might make? Even if all you have is your sweet smile – that’s all that matters.

I’m here to make a difference wherever I can be it through a listening ear, a compliment, a warm hug, aromatherapy – whatever. I choose to be kind and make a difference. Yes, sometimes I do feel invisible yet I know that my kindness leaves ripples wherever I go.

What about you?

How can you make a difference? How have you made difference? Please leave your comments in the space below and tell me. I want you to know that YOU make a difference to me and the rest of the world.

Blessings,

Melissa

P.S. Leaving a comment below or sharing this post on your favorite social media is an act of kindness. Thank you!