"Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on!'
Twas not given for thee alone, Pass it on!
Let it travel down the years, Let it wipe another's tears, 'Till in Heaven the deed appears, Pass it on!" ~ Henry Burton
This weeks theme for writing workshop over at Sleep is for The weak is 'Giving' helping to promote and raise awareness for Actionaids latest campaign.
Being kind to other people should come naturally to us, well most of us anyway and the sense of satisfaction we receive from an act of kindness is just so rewarding. And its not just about giving kindness its also about receiving it.
I'm not talking about giving material gifts or money...Nooooo, I'm talking about giving gifts of time, gifts of love, gifts of caring.
There are lots of ways to give and it doesn't always involve putting your hand in your pocket.
Its about being totally aware of our surroundings and those who are in it...those who pass through for a few minutes, days, weeks or years and those who are with us for a lifetime. Everyone needs to give and receive kindness...its what makes our mad, frantic world a better place. Whether is be a friendly hello to the postman or complimenting someone in the street for how they are wearing their hair or a particular item of clothing. You just do not know what people have going on behind the scenes by simply passing them in the street and a cheery hello could make all the difference.
I personally learnt how such a simple, thoughtful act can lift ones spirit to a whole new level back when I was in my early twenties. I'd just given birth to my second baby and was going through a real s**t few months, I was trying to lose my baby weight and was having a few personal problems on the home front. I was living 200 miles away from my Mum, had no friends in the area, was feeling really down and although thrilled to be a Mummy again I was down right fed up with where I was living and how I looked.
It was my birthday and I decided to have my hair cut by this Fab trainee hairdresser who used to come out to the house...Julian was his name and he cut my hair really short (Like sharon Watts in Eastenders...If you can remember that far back). It was the hair cut of the nineties and if my memory serves me right it is the one and only time I've ever asked for a celebrity hair style. I spotted a photo of Sharon (just like the one below) in a weekly womans magazine, I ripped it out and kept it in my purse until the day I saw Julian.
He was a Great fella...As Gay as a handbag full of rainbows, outrageously flamboyant and had me in absolute stitches as he bitched & gossiped about everyone he knew. He didn't know it but just chatting to him was working wonders on me. It took him forever to cut my hair and when he had finally finished fluffing around with it and spraying me with at least half a can of super hold hairspray I looked in the mirror and felt pleased...I liked it but felt a little nervous as I grabbed my bag to walk to the shop. I felt a bit self conscious of my new hair do and walked with my head down as I quickly chucked what I need into my shopping basket. All of a sudden and out of nowhere this really gorgeous, looking young woman came running over to me and said "I just love your hair...Where did you get it done?" I must admit I was really taken aback and I smiled like a Cheshire cat all the way home...I was thrilled!
That woman didn't realize it but that day she gave me a gift. The Gift was a pocket full of confidence... God, I felt a million dollars all because a complete stranger, very simply took two minutes to compliment me on my hair...So Simple!
I have never forgotten that day and I always remember what a difference such a small act of kindness can do to lift someones spirit. Such an easy thing to do, so next time you are out and about and you think someone looks nice then tell them... You really could Just make someones day!
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." ~ Oscar Wilde