This is an addendum to yesterday’s blog, “Elevation”. I wrote about my experience of witnessing a loving moment between a child and his father. I believe that being open to such experiences is a habit that can be nurtured. Heroic acts and acts of kindness happen around us all the time, but most often they go unnoticed. Most of the time, we are in our heads, thinking our thoughts, planning our plans, judging our judgments.
Years ago I was introduced to the practice of meditation which, in many forms, is the practice of paying attention to what is going on in the moment. When I started meditating, I found the occasions when I’d “wake up” to what was happening around me occuring more often throughout my days and with greater ease. So, in effect, I missed fewer of those sweet moments that Jonathan Haidt calls “elevation” moments. My spirituality leads me to call these moments “God moments”. I see them as little gifts of God, or even little messages from God. A divine wink or smile, perhaps. The events can be quite small. I once witnessed an ant carrying a piece of bread and was transfixed for quite some time. Haidt, in his article, “Wired to be Inspired” talks specifically of acts of kindness that we witness among people, but an ant’s portage of food can be considered a kindness to his tribe. And it can be inspiring in the way Haidt suggests, in this case, to do my part faithfully for the good of my fellows.