“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
I joined a community garden and my plot was ready for planting. I drove to the garden center excited to get some plants. In order to pull into the parking lot I had to cross three lanes of traffic that were approaching a red light. The cars in the first two lanes stopped to let me across. In the third lane there wasn’t room to get between a car and a pickup truck. The car pulled up for me, but the driver of the pickup moved forward to block my way.
Again the car moved as far forward as they could until there was just enough space to fit through. When I started to move the pickup rolled towards me still determined to block my way, but it stopped when the driver saw I was going through no matter what.
I didn’t let the driver go when he drove off. I carried his unkindness into the garden center. He drove down the aisles with me. He sat in my cart mocking me. He parked himself in my head. Even the beauty of the flowers and plants didn’t calm me down. I walked out empty handed and still upset.
My mood reminded me of the zen story about two monks and a woman:
A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together when they came to a river with a strong current. They were preparing to cross the river, when they saw a young, beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.
The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.
Without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his journey.
The younger monk couldn’t believe what had happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless. An hour passed without a word between them. Two more hours passed, then three. Finally the younger monk blurted out, “As monks, we are not permitted to touch a woman. How could you carry that woman on your shoulders?”
The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river. Why are you still carrying her?”