One of my neighbors is kind of known as a pillar of the community. She goes to church every day and does voluntary church work. Around these parts, she's seen as a "good" person. But there's an air of aloofness about her, and when her neighbor was having water supply problems, she did nothing to help. In fact, she was quite vocal about how this neighbor's problems shouldn't be affecting her.
She puts a bad spin on the word "good." And it makes me believe that being "kind" is so much better than being this type of "good."
Acts of kindness by friends and family are always appreciated. It moves me to tears sometimes when they do this sort of thing when I least expect it. If you've ever experienced being in trouble, then finding out that they're helping you -- even in small ways -- without being asked to, you probably know what I mean.
But acts of kindness by strangers are especially heartwarming. I've been lucky to have been on the receiving end so many times over the years: when our car broke down on the highway and people stopped to ask if they could do anything to help; somebody paying anonymously for my drink; somebody offering to share their umbrella when I'm caught unawares in a downpour...the list goes on.
I read somewhere that the best way to repay an act of kindness is to pass it on. Great idea; I agree wholeheartedly. But if you're going to do it, then in the name of all that is kind and good, don't go about broadcasting what you did, okay? And don't make the recipient feel that he or she owes you a debt of gratitude because of the act of kindness you showed to him or her. That would not be "good."