By Susana K. McCollom
As the Institute for Spirituality and Health (ISH) celebrates its 60th anniversary, we asked more than 30 Americans a series of questions centered on spirituality, health, and inspiration.
On a daily basis, the Institute is immersed in spirituality-centric conversations with everyone from long-term associates to the drive-by visitor who stops in, wondering what ISH is about. We wanted to know if the language we encounter each day is echoed by the wider population that does not walk through our doors. What does spirituality mean for people, and how much does it matter?
We found that the landscape of spirituality is textured and sometimes complicated, but what inspires people is not. For individuals throughout the country, kindness is a social imperative – and a spiritual one. But getting there can be hard.
“This may sound cliché, but one of the things that really inspires me is random acts of kindness. It’s so rare that when it happens you are surprised and taken aback,” says Sandra, a recent college graduate.
“This weekend I was in NYC and only had ten dollars. The cab driver accepted it for a fifteen dollar cab ride. At the end he gave me a couple bucks in case I needed any cash for anything. I was so taken aback that I don’t even think I sounded that grateful. But it inspired me to be kinder to the next passerby I saw.”