Life is busy. We work long hours while also perhaps juggling caring for our children or loved ones. We may not live close to our families which makes it more challenging to visit. We may be commuting for hours a day and not know our neighbour’s names. Often it’s not that we don’t want to, it’s just a consequence of the lives many of us lead.
That’s why I want to make a case for kindness. A small act of kindness, be it a smile, a thank you, or a well-timed cuppa, can turn someone’s bad day around.
So I wanted to talk about the acts of kindness I have been lucky enough to benefit from. These are just five that spring to mind but had a huge impact on me at the time and still make me smile today.
1. The colleague who made me an emergency cup of tea when I had a difficult call from my son’s school when I was working in London. Tea always makes things feel that little bit better especially when you’re far from home.
2. The man who gave me his bottle of water on the Tube in 2010 when I was having an asthma attack.
3. The woman who told me well done when she saw me feeding my daughter in public. I had been bracing myself for criticism so it was a joy to hear someone saying well done especially when in a haze of sleep deprivation.
4. The group of mums who clapped me when I walked into a mother and baby group with my son who was just a few days old and complemented me on managing to wear lipstick.
5. The friend who baked me a delicious lemon cake after I had my daughter. I was so touched I cried.
These are just a few of the acts of kindness I’ve been lucky enough to experience in recent years.
Often they are simple things but they stay with you.
So this is my case for kindness.
Do small things. Say thank you. Make cups of tea. Send a pretty postcard. Bake something. Say hello. Ask “How are you?” and really listen to the answer.
These small things can mean so much.