I sailed through my early life blissfully ignorant of the power of kindness. I was lucky. Unscathed by life. Of course, life has a funny way of catching up and boy did it catch me.
Infertility, a gruelling and unnecessarily cruel adoption process and the complete life overhaul that becoming a parent brings left me a broken shell of my former self. Depression followed and I was left lonely, anxious and with my confidence in tatters.
G’s unfailing love and support was hugely important. But on the horribly bleak days it was often the kindness of complete strangers which lit my way.
The wonderful man who brought back the purse I dropped out of the buggy. He brought it to my house, with all the money still in it and wouldn’t even let me say thank you properly.
The wee lady who told me what a smashing job I was doing as my toddler screamed herself blue with rage in Tesco.
The scotrail employee who refused point blank to follow procedure and charge me a full days parking for a lost ticket. He said that I looked like I needed a break. Some days the Mum bun in unwashed hair, under eye luggage and obvious got dressed in the dark uniform will be your friend.
The mothercare staff who understood that a lost teddy was an emergency and pulled apart their stock room to find an out of stock bear. Then stayed after the store had closed while I drove like an eejit to meet them in the car park. My now teenage child is blissfully unaware that Teddy is actually Teddy II.
None of these acts are particularly grand gestures. None has taken people massively out of their way. Each also took place a decade, maybe more, ago. Yet the memory of each is fresh and clear. These small acts were/are massively important to me. Each shaped and defined the person I strive to be.
My main wish. My oft repeated rant is ‘Why can’t it just be kinder?’ Of course the it changes with the situation.
Why can’t the adoption process truly put the needs of the child above all else. Treat the child with kindness and it does.
Why can’t the school’s handling of bullying be less victim blaming and more restorative? Treat all involved with kindness and it does.
Why does getting help and support involve prostrating ourselves at the feet of the worthy and being left to feel weighed, measured and found wanting? Treat applicants with kindness and this stops.
Most problems I encounter are at least diminished in the face of kindness. Genuine empathy and treating people the way I would like to be treated. It’s a revolutionary act. I’m calmer. More forgiving, Open to the truth that most people are innately good, but distracted. Happier, it is uplifting and beautiful to see the good, to be positive and to hope beyond hope that maybe one of my small acts is the beacon in someone else’s day. That maybe something I do will still be clear and fresh in the recipients mind years later.
This is why I’m taking part in Proper Post’s 5 Days of Kind Challenge Whilst it is absolutely something I endeavour to do 365 days of the year a wee shake up and following some fun prompts can’t be a bad thing. Who knows where it will lead. If you fancy joining the revolution it isn’t too late. Sign up here