It’s Friday. It’s Kindness Counts Friday. Time to recount all the kind acts we’ve engaged in or witnessed.
I’ve had a strange, strange week. Lots of stress, lots of upset. Lots of “How much worse can it possibly get?” moments. Not much room for optimism or positivity, unfortunately. Thank goodness for meditation and my gratitude journal: once again, they’ve been a lifeline, literally giving me something to hold on to, to pull myself out of the darkness.
Having said that, I – we – have still found many opportunities to be kind because I strongly believe in the power of kindness to effect change and, also, in the power of kindness to be able to take one out of oneself, to offer a fresh perspective when all around seems lost.
1. My son’s best friend from school has fallen out with him. [Had to happen this week! God, I believe in you, I love you, but why do you send me so many trials simultaneously?!]. When you’re 8, this is a Big Deal. I phoned the boy’s Mum, we had a chat. It turns out that his pet has just died and he’s having a hard time dealing with it, so is pushing everyone away at the moment. I told my son what she’d said, and he disappeared off to his room. He emerged a while later with a folded up piece of paper that he popped in his school bag. I didn’t want to intrude on his privacy, so didn’t ask him about it. Off they went to bed. I had a look at the piece of paper (yes, I know, I shouldn’t have done…) and guess what it said? [I’m kicking myself for not taking a photo]:
“I’m sorry your dog died. I’m still your friend and always will be. Love XXX.
P.S. I know he’s not a dog, but you can have my hamster if you like”
Yes, I did cry. Tears of joy. Tears I needed to cry.
Children, they have a way of seeing the world that’s just so admirable.
[God…OK…I understand….everything you send us is for a reason. I will not doubt you again. Will not wring my hands at you and shout ‘Whhhhhhhyy me???’ ever again. I am learning to let go and trust you. Promise…].
2. We were walking home from football the other day and saw the porter from our building, sat on a wall near home, looking very dishevelled and upset. It transpired he’d been mugged, his wages stolen. He’d gone back to the building to ask if anyone could help him with the bus fare, for him to be able to get home, but of the three people at home, none had helped him. He’d been sitting there, trying to get his breath, before he started to walk home. Bearing in mind he’s at least 65, he lives about 7 miles away, and he’d been at work for a twelve hour shift, obviously we weren’t going to let him walk home. He accompanied us home, we gave him some juice and something to eat. I tried to give him money for his bus fare but he wouldn’t receive it, saying he couldn’t take money from me. As he was going down in the lift, I called the other porter who was now on duty and asked him to lend ‘X’ the money he’d need for his bus, that I’d give him the money back as soon as ‘X’ had left the building.
[I was shocked about many things around this episode…that an old guy was mugged just near our home; that no-one in my building lent the guy the equivalent of a few dollars for him to be able to get home; and, most of all, I think, that no-one had come to his help. He’s an old man and was obviously shaken and he said that no-one had stopped to help him, either when they saw what was happening or afterwards. Shameful].
There are more kind things we’ve done, but I wanted to add in a few things I’ve found ’round the web’ that I thought might be of interest, and didn’t want this post to get even longer…
3. Found this Random Acts of Kindness Reddit here: just about broke my heart that there’s a guy on there asking, repeatedly, for art supplies. They write, “I do art… and stuff. I recently ran out of my sketchbook paper, and am now scribbling on the back of pictures, I don’t care if they’ve been used or are super cheap things I just want to draw. Also and leftover hunks of gnarly pencils or colored pencils or charcoal would be cool, I’m running low on almost everything. I’d really appreciate your kindness!”
[Am crying writing this…someone wants to express themselves artistically and they can’t because they don’t have paper…just about one of the saddest thing I’ve ever had to think about…].
I wish I was in the States, to be able to help, but I’m not. I’m posting it here in case any of you reading from the States are able to help…(new requests – for all sorts of ‘manageably solve-able’ things – pop up daily).
4. This post about 10 modern-day superheroes. It links to 10 stories about 10 amazing people, including Jorge Munoz who, he estimates, has fed 70,000 people over his 10 years of making hot meals every day for homeless people from his own salary plus donations. Do you remember last week when I told you that we’d been helping someone who does something similar here where we live? Seeing Jorge’s story, I realise we can do more.
What committing to Kindness Counts has made me realise is that we can all always do more.