Kindness Is a Signpost Left Behind for Oneself

Signposts in the wilderness that read: "Lost, Found, and Searching."

On the road of life, kindness is the compass of the soul, a signpost that guides us so that we will never lose our way. (Image: via Needpix / CC0 1.0)

On the road of life, kindness is the compass of the soul, a signpost that guides us so that we will never lose our way. Here are two short stories illustrating the self-rewarding nature of this virtue known as kindness.

Burying the bones

The Sahara Desert is also known as the “Sea of Death.” In the past, the fate of those who entered the desert was sealed as there was no return. It was not until 1814 that an archaeological team broke the death curse for the first time.

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As they undertook their expedition, the team came across the bones of the deceased scattered everywhere across the desert. The captain always told everyone to stop to find some high ground where they could dig holes and bury the bones. They also built simple tombstones for them with branches or stones. However, there were so many bones in the desert, and burial work took up a lot of time.

The team members started complaining: “We are here for archaeology, not collecting corpses.”

But the captain insisted they continue burying the remains they found and said stubbornly: “Every pile of bones was one of our colleagues. How can we bear to leave their bodies exposed in the wilderness?”

Kindness is a signpost we left for ourselves
The captain insisted that the team find some high ground to bury the bones of previous explorers. (Image: via Pikist / CC0 1.0)

‘Kindness is a signpost we left for ourselves!’

About a week later, the archaeological team discovered many ancient remains and relics in the desert that would shock the world.

But when they left the site, a storm suddenly blew up and the sky was obliterated for days and nights. Then, the compasses all failed, the archaeological team was completely lost, food and fresh water began to run low, and they understood why their previous colleagues had failed to return alive.

In the crisis, the captain suddenly said: “Don’t give up, we left a signpost on the road when we came!”

Sure enough, when they looked to the high ground, they saw the tombstones they had created when burying the bones they found on their way in. The tombstones were marking the route, and by following them, they finally got out of the sea of death.

In an interview with a reporter from The Times, everyone on the team sighed: “Kindness is a signpost we left for ourselves!”

Quality corn

There was a certain farmer who had an excellent harvest every year because his corn was of good quality. It was his habit to always donate his fine seeds to others without hesitation.

Someone once asked him why he was so generous?

He said: “I am good to others, but actually I am being good to myself, too. The wind blows the pollen around. If my neighbors are planting inferior seeds, the pollination process will naturally affect the quality of my corn. Therefore, I am very happy when all the farmers are able to plant the same good quality varieties.”

Stalks of corn growing in a field.
The farmer knew that if others planted inferior seeds, the pollination process would naturally affect the quality of his own corn. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

His words seem simple, but they are richly philosophical and carry a lot of meaning. Whatever you do to others is ultimately what you do to yourself. So for everything you want to get for yourself, you must first be willing to give it to others.

If you want to be loved, you must first love others; if you want to be cared for by others, you must first care about others; if you want others to treat you well, you must first treat others well.

If you want to make true friends, you must first be sincere to your friends, and then you will find that your friends also start to be sincere to you; if you want to be happy, then go to bring others happiness. Soon, you will find yourself living better and better.

Translated by Patty Zhang

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