Monday, July 20, 2015

No Act of Kindness Is Wasted - A Final Thought

Here's the Community Business College final thought for the week ending July 17, 2015.

As we ended the week of classes at Community Business College, we had a campus-wide student meeting where we could all just get together, share announcements and reviews of the week’s classwork and end with a “Final Thought For The Week.”
The college’s final thoughts can be profound, humorous, poignant, or, in the best cases, a combination of all three.

This week’s final thought was a simple and straight forward one – “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
It comes from an ancient Aesop fable and the moral is a good one – to do kindness whether you are reward or not.

What was particularly interesting about this one was to see how many people were familiar with the tale, but not necessarily familiar with Aesop’s fable itself.

Some have heard the story of the lion and the mouse in the fable, but it has been told and re-told that some remember it differently than others.

Here is one common version of the fable as told through Wikipedia’s Wikicommons:
The Lion and the Mouse

It happened shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters, who bound him by strong ropes to the ground. The Mouse, recognizing his roar, came to his aid, gnawed the rope with his teeth, and set him free, telling the lion “You laughed at the idea of my ever being able to help you, to repay your favor; but now you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to provide an act of kindness to a Lion.”

The moral of the story is “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Now, some have heard that it was thorn in the lion’s foot, possibly mixing the classic tale of Androcoles and the Lion. Others have heard that the mouse did the favor first, with the lion then providing help to the mouse after.

However they initially heard it, the interesting thing about it all is almost all were familiar with the tale about the mouse and the lion in general.

Now, after we told the tale at the student meeting, one student laughed and said he thought there was going to be a cynical punch line to follow. Something like “no act of kindness ever goes unpunished.”

Or maybe something from a Banksy graffiti artwork. Maybe it demonstrates the snarky world we live in - it’s hard for people to express genuine positive attitudes without being sniffed at.

But the purpose of our final thought at the end of each week is to leave all of our students with something positive and uplifting. It’s a good way to wrap a good week of hard work and study and to kick off the weekend. The final thoughts have become so popular that one of the Community Business College instructors compiled them into a booklet called “Frana’s Collected Sayings” and hands them out at our graduation ceremonies.

That, in itself, is an act of kindness – spread good thoughts and hope they catch on like the next pop culture meme.

If you want to practice an act of kindness, you can contribute to the Community Business College crowdfunding project. More details can be found at: good point to remember - No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

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