A Pleasant Surprise
Last week we explored the topic of Random Acts of Kindness. There is now an official day 17th February in which individuals are encouraged to carry out these small acts and this is lovely but it got me thinking ..
Why do we need a day in which to practise kindness? Should we not be practising kindness on a daily basis without thought of repayment or agenda?
As I explored the world of the web in search of these recorded acts what I noticed was that we are hit so much more frequently with acts of cruelty.. everywhere on every news page there are headlines of terrible things which have been done to others. Yes there have been some natural disasters and some tragic accidents but on the main we are looking at a web filled with hate stories. It can appear as if we are inherently bad .. the world seems very small and a very scary place with no escape from the atrocities which have occurred.
Is it really then any surprise when people are taken aback from kindness from others?
Human beings seem programmed now to expect the worst from others and step back and take stock when someone does something just good. I recalled in my FB Live how I went into a well known coffee shop and simply because I looked up from my phone and I wasn’t deaf to their words ( no headphones) – I actually made some small talk and I smiled that I got a free coffee.. they were surprised by my kindness and manners and I was equally surprised by their generosity.
People spoke of how individuals were surprised if eye contact was made in the street – some thought is a pre curser to being attacked … and yet as I searched through the stories I saw that actually faith perhaps could be restored – there were stories of providing help for the homeless , of work done for charities by those being treated or effected by life changing conditions , volunteering and communities coming together . I noticed that in stories of dreadful tragedy underneath there were the aftermath stories of the people who supported each other and would not be broken.
And it occurred to me that many of these are done without agenda and without need for sharing – just because .. On the other hand one of my listeners raised the point of why we have so many people wanting to share terrible events. For me the answers are two fold – firstly we should admit that we look for drama to read – and drama sells – we only need to look at how the talent shows all seem to be based on the X-Factor story – the worse the story and background the more people route for them. However I also believe that people share for genuine reasons – to share their story to help others and show that people can overcome and that people are not alone in their struggles.
So I guess my closing comments are that you can look beyond the bad things , you can find those acts of true kindness and remember that a small act of kindness can truly make a change in someone’s life – don’t wait until next February 17th before you act.
Have a blessed and mindful week . Ali x