H/T to Fr Z for this,which asks the same question in a secular, (or at least potentially secular, since unless he notes it, Fr Z. seldom if ever links without opprobrium, or at least a caveat, to anyone who doesn't completely share his religious, cultural, gender and especially politically conservative agenda,) context:
What Good Shall I Do This Day?[A successful suicide's note] read:
“I’m going to walk to the bridge. If one person smiles at me on the way, I will not jump.”... Society has any number of pressing needs that are crying out to be tackled. But there’s a need that everyone can start addressing immediately — no experience or Kickstarter campaign required: regularly showing more human kindness
I know, I know. Talking about kindness can seem cheesy. It isn’t cool. Doesn’t have much currency in our cynical age. Kindness doesn’t scream “manly” either. But I truly believe that helping our brothers and sisters along the way is what this life’s journey is all about, for men and women alike. At the same time, this service is the surest path to finding our own happiness....
The writer George Saunders ... recalled some of the bigger mistakes and mishaps of his life, and notes that despite their negative consequences, he regrets none of them.
Instead, it is a small moment from his youth, a foible of omission rather than commission, that still niggles at him [a school days' memory of failing to stick up for a bullied outsider]
"It bothers me. So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
I suspect we all have such memories.Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.”
And we do know what to do with them.
Maybe the kindness I can do today can help atone for a failure from the past. And that can help bring me one step closer to Him Who is all loving-kindness.