A single penny…just one cent…on its own is perceived as insignificant. However, one hundred of them are one dollar, and one thousand is equal to $10. Much in the same way, individual acts are sometimes also perceived as “insignificant.” However, what if every person performed an act of kindness? Collectively, individual acts contribute to a better society. Since traveling to Ahmedabad and participating in the Jain Studies Program hosted by the International School for Jain Studies (ISJS), I have made a conscious effort to perform random acts of kindness, so to speak of my Anuvrat. In doing so, I have improved my personal and mental wellbeing and have also helped others.
Western society is characterized as fast-paced and many people are ego-centric. What if individuals simply took a moment to “slow down” and have consideration for others? Whilst driving the other day, I encountered another driver who was “hurried” and impatient as they aggressively attempted to exit a parking lot and enter traffic. Albeit I had the “right of way,” I slowed my rate of speed and motioned for the driver to enter the lane of travel. The same day I was at the grocery store during a busy time. There were lines at each of the cash registers. A mother with a full shopping cart and three young, impatient, and fussy children, stood in line behind me. The children “romped” and the mom was trying to corral the children…My perception was that she was frustrated and overwhelmed. I turned to her and said, “Ma’am, please go ahead of me. I’m in no hurry.” I saw her facial expression change from angry and frustrated to appreciative and relieved. Next time you are in a similar situation, think to yourself, “Is it really imperative that I pay immediately and rush home? Or should I sacrifice a few minutes of my time and improve someone else’s situation? What if everyone performed “insignificant” acts such as the aforementioned? Perhaps such actions, as insignificant as they may seem, will contribute to a more understanding, compassionate and gentler world.
Jennifer L. Dixon, M.Ed. is a teacher in Pasco County, Florida.
She was named 2021 District Teacher of the Year to represent the District School Board of Pasco County, a large district in Florida, comprised of 96 schools that serves more than 70,000 students and 10,000 faculty/staff. She works with students who are considered “academically at risk.” In addition to assisting students with academic concerns, she takes a “wholistic approach” to empowering students by sharing methods for them to take responsibility for their behavior, academic conduct, individual accountability, and to overcome external challenges which may be negatively affecting them. Dixon is pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Policy from Texas Tech University.
People Also Ask
What language do Jains speak?
Jain literature exists mainly in Prakrit, Sanskrit, Marathi, Tamil, Rajasthani, Marwari, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and more recently in English. All except Prakrit and Sanskrit are in daily use by Jains. Jains have contributed immensely to India’s classical and popular literature.