Friday, November 29, 2013

Eben Pagan with Tony Robbins - Compassion and Acts of Kindness

I came across this brief video featuring personal development expert Eben Pagan, in which he shares his understanding of compassion with speaker and author Tony Robbins. His premise - that compassion is a much more powerful relationship skill than people realize, whether in business or one's personal life. Always articulate, Eben clarifies the practice of compassion:

Watching this video reminded me of a simple act of kindness that had a profoundly beneficial impact on me personally.

One day my friend, Clinton, who lives a few blocks from me, was talking to Ron, who works in the California wine industry and lives part-time locally to be near family. Ron said he was bringing several cases of wine to his new home here, but he wasn't sure how he was going to store it.

Clinton immediately connected the dots. He knew we were moving and had to get rid of our large wine cooler, so he told Ron about it. "It's huge. I'm sure they have to sell it, and you can probably get it cheaper than you'd have to pay for a much smaller one."

Clinton called to be sure we were home, then he persuaded Ron to come over to take a look at it. Clinton introduced us, and a sequence of events then took place. Ron said he loved it but would have to take some measurements to be sure it would fit in his house. When that checked out, we haggled over price.

Alexa, 8 weeks old
While this was going on, Ron told us that he found a tiny kitten crying at his back door, so he had started feeding it. He didn't know what he was going to do, though, because he had to return to California for a couple months. Since our cat Max had passed away, my wife, Kathleen, had been wanting a new kitty. When she went over to his house to see it, she was so taken with her that she brought her back for me to see. I have to admit, it was love at first sight.

"If you agree to this price, I'll take the cat off your hands," Kathleen said.

Then there was the matter of moving this restaurant-sized wine cooler from our house to Ron's. It had two french doors, each of which weighed 150 pounds. He rounded up some friends and family, and Clinton and I helped them disassemble the cooler and haul it down the street to Ron's house.

An hour later...
  • The wine cooler we didn't know how to get rid of was in Ron's dining room.
  • We were $900 richer than we were when we got up that morning.
  • A desperate little homeless kitty had found a loving home.
  • And we had a beautiful new spirit in our lives.
We named her Alexa, although I still call her "Baby Girl." Ten weeks later she had grown to four times the size when we got her, our older cat Ernest has adopted her as his little sister, and we can't imagine living without her.
Alexa, 4 months old
All the events of that fateful day happened because Clinton was so persistent about facilitating an act of kindness. There was nothing in it for him. He just wanted to do something nice for his friends. He didn't know that the consequences would be life-changing.

We don't know how Baby Girl ended up in the woods in our neighborhood, but she was lucky that she came to the right house, that Ron was living there at the time, that he was goodhearted enough to care for her, that we would meet Ron because of the wine cooler, and that discovering and adopting Baby Girl would become part of the negotiation.

They talk about "random acts of kindness." Hey, acts of kindness don't have to be random. Just do them! You never know how wonderful the ultimate consequences will be.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2013. Building Personal Strength .

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