A couple of weeks ago I came across a news story that deeply inspired me. Apparently, a two year old child was running down the street headed straight for a busy intersection. The mom and dad were nowhere in sight. A car pulls over and a man jumps out and runs in front of the boy stopping him. When police cruiser pulled up to offer assistance, the man got back in his car and drove away. I can’t stop thinking about how this anonymous citizen leapt into action, disregarding his own safety, to save the life of a small child.
To me, his courageous action illustrated an extreme example of ‘ahimsa’, or kindness, one of the most important concepts in the Yoga Sutras.
Today, between working our jobs and caring for our family and friends, there is often little time or energy left to consider, let alone help anyone else that might be in need.
But just like this anonymous hero who saw an opportunity to help and took action, I believe we can all step outside our comfort zone and be available to assist someone in need. The first step is being aware of the people around us. Next, we must be available to help those who are in need of some assistance. Finally, we can cultivate the habit of actually doing something to help.
Whether it is letting another driver cut in front of us in traffic, carrying a heavy bag for someone needing help, or simply greeting strangers with a smile, life is filled with opportunities to practice ahimsa. Keep your eyes and your heart open for something you can do today to practice ahimsa, to help those in need. If for no other reason than this is just what real Yogi’s do.