Two weeks ago, our church challenged each member of the congregation to commit to a simple, random act of kindness. This could be anything done intentionally for someone else without thought of reward or return. All we needed to do was see a need, no matter how small, and meet it.
And I couldn't; or rather, I didn't.
This may sound odd, but each time I saw someone, and thought, "oh, I can do this for them." I did not bring myself to do it, for the first observation was followed by thoughts like, "they will think this is weird", or "they will take this the wrong way". Over and over, I talked myself out of doing something good, usually by dismissing my intended action because of a fear of the recipient's response.
And I never got over it.
As I write this, two weeks after the fact, I still feel strange about the entire enterprise; I still feel like any action I take will not have the effect I desire. I have tried to get to the bottom of this fear, but no real memories or experiences that I can recall have informed it. I have no idea what is holding me from doing this. I almost wonder if it's the fear of rejection or false expectations. I don't know. All I know is that in the last two weeks, I have felt afraid or embarrassed to do good for a stranger, and I don't like that I felt that way. Frankly, I'm embarrassed that I'm embarrassed.
Whatever has me held in place, I need to get over it. I will follow up with another post at some point, hopefully with an update that I've done what I've had to do and figured out what caused the delay in the first place.