“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Eccl 9:10)
When I decided to major in English in college I thought it would be fun because I loved to read so much. It turned out to be a lot more difficult, though, than I thought it would be. The differences in the language over hundreds of years made many passages hard to comprehend.
Trying to understand Shakespeare gave me headaches and Chaucer was even worse. Reading Byron, Keats, Shelly, Emerson, and Thoreau was easier but still took a lot of effort. There were times, however, when I read passages that illuminated my mind, opened a door into my heart, and shared their wisdom with my soul.
One of these was by William Wordsworth. It went: “The best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” The first time I read that I could feel it speaking to the deepest part of myself. I vowed then and there to build up the best portion of my own life. I vowed then and there to fill my days with acts of kindness and love. I didn’t always succeed, of course. But over the years I slowly but surely began to love more and more.
Over the years I did more and more to be kind, to help others, and to live the way I knew God wanted me to live. What would happen if everyone followed Wordsworth’s wisdom and lived from the best portion of themselves? What would happen if everyone of us filled our lives with acts of kindness and love? Would we cease to hate? Would we put an end to war? Would we make sure that no child on this Earth was hungry, lonely, or neglected? Would we all start to work together to make this world the beautiful, loving place that God meant for it to be?
Let’s find out. Let’s all fill our days with acts of kindness. Let’s all fill our lives with acts of love. Let’s all be our best selves for each other, for this world, and for God.
By Joseph J. Mazzella