The kindness of strangers


By Pat Larsen
For Capital Region Independent Media

Headshot of a female named Pat LarsenFirst and foremost, yes, there is a title change to my column that will better reflect the work I have begun doing in the community to connect the body, mind and spirit to the
everyday experience of being human.

I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned from some very great teachers in my life and to learn from you as well, as we all navigate this new world together. I plan to share more parables, stories, lessons and helpful alterntives to remain healthy and fit under a broader umbrella than just exercise and diets. I hope you will enjoy what you read and share with those in our community, bringing us all that much closer. I plan on focusing our internal beam of light on more thought-provoking topics that help us regroup and move forward.

This time last year was like no other time in anyone’s experience. The isolation, insulation and confusion was almost insurmountable.

Here we are, one full year later, a renewed excitement in our hearts reconnecting us to the joys of the holidays. My heart is filled with an outpouring of sheer emotion every
day. We are indeed connecting to the very spirit of the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday, you’re starting to “feel” again what we thought was lost.

So how then is the mind and the body reacting to the spirit and joy we’ve begun to embrace?

In researching this topic, I came across a wonderful passage that gave me the words that I want to share with you now.

The passage was found in a wonderful book entitled, “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.” The author is Sarah Ban Breathnach:

“In the Bible, the angels who intervened in the lives of humans were most often strangers who appeared on the scene just once, gave assistance, and then disappeared as mysteriously as they arrived. From all the published firsthand accounts, the appearance of these angels hasn’t changed.”

That being said, I know we’ve all encountered the kindness of strangers, in surprising ways, never more, though, than now it seems. Perhaps going unnoticed, but definitely leaving the recipient curious.

So this may be an excellent time to start being consciously aware of your encounters with strangers. You never know.

Be kind to strangers yourself, as you go about your holiday preparations as well. Never turn down the help of others if you can. Sometimes life is difficult because we don’t allow help from others or decline to ask for
assistance when we really need a hand.

As Sarah said in her passage, “Think of the kindness to or from strangers as a positive exchange of comfort and compassion in the circle of life.”

Allow for the kindness of strangers in your life.

Your body and mind are soothed by this and remain open to giving as well.

Pat Larsen is a licensed fitness instructor/certified hypnosis therapist. Instruction in acupressure techniques and simple guided meditation. Private readings and sessions available to unlock your focus on living your best life. Ongoing live fitness classes and programs at The Shamrock House in East Durham. You can reach Pat at 518-275-8686 or via email at

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