Sunday, April 29, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

How often do you do something thoughtful and considerate for someone?  For me it's not often enough.  It's usually all about me, thinking of how I'm going to make life easier for myself rather than how I can make life easier for others.  There, I've said it.  And no, I'm not really beating myself up about it, because isn't it better to acknowledge it and do something about it, than not even be aware of it.
My planets are not aligned at the moment, I have many balls in the air at the moment (ok, often) - houses, stories, friendships, training, parenting stuff, and I know that somethings going to give.  At the moment it's just the tidiness of my house, and my meal planning, but one day something with more serious consequences will happen.  Like the fact, even though there has been a zillion emails about a band competition my eldest is in tomorrow, and I had read the emails I hadn't actually absorbed the words, and had no idea.
So I was on a deadline for a delicate story I was writing for a magazine I have a good relationship with, but I'd had my head in the sand about it because I was too busy sulking at the prospect of being homeless in 4 weeks, I was under pressure.  But on the one day I needed to nail the story, I had a school commitment.  The lovely Nadine had me on duty in her school canteen that day.  I hadn't said a word but she could tell I was under a bit of pressure, and called me as I was on my way to school. "Don't bother coming in today, we'll be fine, go write your story instead".
She had given me the gift of time.  Story happily written and submitted in much better shape than it would have been had I not had those precious hours to actually focus.

There are websites dedicated to "random acts of kindness", I am humbled by what I read, what people do for others, without hesitation, and for no other reason than to help others.  My parents-in-law head out regularly at night to hand out sandwiches and coffee to the homeless.  My friend Julie has a blog called nomorepastrami where she is profiling and raising awareness for those in need, or charities that do good, pushing back against the complacent comfort of our privileged lives.  Do go have a squizz and a read.  There are many people who do so much in my school community - a few do the work that many benefit from. So many people quietly doing so much, with neither fanfare nor agenda.

I'm kind of just rambling, but after that act of kindness, I was inspired, and thought "I gotta write about this", but then life moved on, and I did too.  But now I'm going back and thinking I need to pay this forward, I need to start.
Isn't the first step?

Have you ever experienced any random act of kindness?


  1. I love being able to do little things to help make people's lives easier but sometimes I think I do it a bit for me because it makes me feel good. One of my 'things' is to give baked goods to people who've had a tough time. You've been in hospital with your asthmatic daughter? Here's some chocolate cupcakes. You had to have your dog put down? Pumpkin scones for you. I know it doesn't help with the pain but I like to think that it helps knowing that someone's thinking of them.

  2. You are so sweet Char, I bet it makes all the difference to people just knowing you are aware of what they're going through as well as the baked goodies as well of course!!!