It’s Friday. It’s Kindness Counts Friday. Time to ‘tell all’ about the kind acts we’ve engaged in or witnessed.
1. It’s nearly Halloween. It’s a big thing where we live. My children have, between them, amassed 10 Halloween costumes in their short lives, plus another 4 costumes they use outside of Halloween. 14 costumes? Ridiculous. Needless to say, after a bit of a encouragement from Mama, and a lot of trying on of said costumes (and realisations that they were all a bit too small), there are now 14 very happy children who have a Halloween costume this year! [Yes, it was quite a lot of work finding recipients, but we managed!].
2. A friend here has just lost her husband. (Under fairly horrific circumstances). I honestly don’t know her very well but was human enough to ask her if she needed anything and to tell her that she should just call if she does. A few hours later, she phoned. I couldn’t hear anything – it was that horrible tense kind of silence when you know the person on the other end is really upset – but obviously knew it was her from the number that flashed on my phone. I asked her if she wanted me to go over. She texted back, ‘Please’. I went over and just sat with her. We didn’t talk very much, perhaps less than five words, but I could sense my presence had helped her.
3. I was shopping and got a Particularly Horrible Cashier. You know the ones? The “gruff faced, stressed hands grabbing and scanning items roughly, plonking your change down on the counter” kind of Horrible. I grinned and bore it. Just. As I walked off, I realised I should, perhaps, have been kinder (my own ‘Mweh’ day making me less cordial than usual) and so I doubled back and offered her a pack of biscuits from the shopping I’d just paid for. She did a double take, “For me?”. Once I’d reassured her that, yes, they were for her, she smiled. Smiled. Said she’d been having a rough day and I’d made her day. That she’d eat them on her break.
4. On the same shopping trip, I was looking for some socks for my daughter and there was a man stood, with an overwhelmed look on his face, holding various hangers, sizing up all the clothes he’d pulled off the racks. After a few minutes, he asked me if I knew which one an 8 year old girl would like. We entered in to a fairly long conversation about the ins and outs of pink/frills/ruffles and their match to her personality, and he picked two items for her. As he was leaving, he said, “I don’t see her that often. We’re divorced, you see, me and her Mum. I feel like I have to pick the right present so she doesn’t have more reasons not to like me”. [It hit me like a sack of bricks and I cursed myself for having got involved – this Kindness Counts isn’t all rainbows and twinkles!].
5. One of the porters in our building has been having financial problems (his brother’s house burnt down recently and he’s been chipping in, trying to help get him and his family back on their feet…considering he himself has two children and gets paid less than $400 a month, he’s pretty much a Kindness Genius, if you ask me). He’s been looking thinner and thinner. I couldn’t stand it any longer and asked him, yesterday, what he’d brought for his lunch. He sheepishly looked at his feet and said not to worry, he’d eat at home. There’s no way, shape or form that’s OK. [The porters do 12 hour shifts, 6am to 6pm, with 1.5-2 hour bus rides home each way]. Where three can eat, so can four. We gave him lunch yesterday and will do every day until the problems subside and he can bring his own lunch from home. [My heart did a little leap when, after I’d nipped to the bathroom, just before I rang him to ask him to come and get the tray with his lunch on it, I saw that my daughter had popped one of her drawings under the knife and fork and one of the chocolates she’d won in the piñata at a friends party near the glass of juice “for pudding, Mama”].
Kindness-related things I’ve come across on the big wide web this week:
1. This lady who did 35 acts of kindness in one day on her 35th birthday!
3. 100 ways to be kind to your child [They’re small for such a short time! Take time to be consciously kind to them…Note to self: when your four year old daughter asks you to find a You Tube video to help her get her hair “..like Rapunzel when she had the flowers in it, Mama”, for her party at nursery – choose the 10 minutes it’ll take you to find it and practice the hairstyle. Choose the 10 minutes that’ll make her feel like a million dollars. The work can wait. She won’t always be four and wanting you to do her hair for her (more’s the pity!)].
4. This story about the 9 Nanas – had me gripped and smiling myself silly by the end of it!
5. Did you know there’s a World Kindness Day and it’s on November 13th each year? [It’s just over two weeks away…Just saying….]