“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

An investment executive reads at an orphanage during his lunch hour. A mother receives a gift of much-needed food and immediately shares it with another hungry family. An elderly man distributes sandwiches every evening to the homeless in his neighborhood park. A teenager spends her vacation building houses for poor families rather than scuba diving.

Unlike news headlines that shout out bad news and horrific happenings, goodness often reveals itself quietly. The people doing the good work, true everyday leaders, will likely tell you, “It’s no big deal. I’m just doing my life.”
It’s true. Those who practice grace and gratitude are not saints, not perfect people. And they come from all races, ages, genders, spiritual beliefs and lifestyles.

They are ordinary people doing acts of extraordinary importance.

What Kathleen A. Brehony discovered in writing her book, Ordinary Grace, is that for these people, acts of kindness lead to the kind of meaning and fulfillment that makes life worth living. In other words, we make a life by what we give, not what we get.

“We all make decisions about what we will emphasize as we live our lives,” Brehony says. “Whether we ‘tune in’ and open our hearts to ordinary grace or not is a personal choice.”

The grace Brehony refers to embraces compassion, altruism and empathy—in essence, all forms of loving-kindness, or, acting with the goal of benefiting another. These are values that most of us share. And in emergencies, such as the recent typhoons, floods, fires and earthquakes, grace is usually more prevalent.

Many people fail to bring their everyday actions into accord with their beliefs and values. We have the best of intentions, but are overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life. And yet intention, I believe, underpins the energy and message we put out there to others and to ourselves. Most importantly if our intentions come from a place of integrity and sincerity, then we are also honoring that small voice inside us. One small baby step and action at a time, is all it takes to start living with grace.

What makes grace come alive and enrich the lives of both giver and receiver is action. Not just caring, but acting courageously based on that caring; grace in action. Living our lives with grace and gratitude can elevate our cell “frequency” or “vibration” creating a more harmonious, joyous and healthy life filled with tranquility, peace and love.

“Unless our insights result in some practical action, they are not useful at all,” the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama says. “With compassion, one needs to be engaged, involved.”

Grace is not just about doing good work, but also about recognizing the inherent goodness in every human being. It’s about recognizing that despite the outer trappings - the income level, social standings, education - we all want the same essential things: our basic survival needs met, dignity, a good life for our children and meaningful connection with other humans. We also seek to be loved and respected without conditions. With true unconditional love, there is no “trade-off”.

We all have hundreds of opportunities a day to either pass along a spark of grace or to pass up the opportunity, leaving the world a bit older and wearier. Brehony offers 13 steps to making a difference in your life and others’ by living grace in action.

Author's Bio: 

Evie Weaver, owner of Nine Meridians, http://www.ninemeridians.com.au, is dedicated to healing and coaching in an intuitive, transformational, value-based way. She has a diploma in teaching and is an Accredited Coach (ICF Member & ACC Accreditation), as well as a Certificate IV. Evie believes professional, personal, emotional and spiritual development are all facets of life that may need attention and alignment. She can be reached at evie@ninemeridians.com.au