It’s pretty tough out there at the moment. For anyone who cares about social justice, listening to the news in the morning and reading the paper is enough to make you want to crawl back under the duvet. But, being an eternal optimist and half-glass-full kind of a person, I am determined to remain positive. This post is a little celebration of the countless acts of kindness I witnessed while out and about in London today:
To Jade, the BT engineer: You fixed our broadband this morning with a cheery smile and admirable professionalism. Thank you.
To the young man on the Northern Line this morning: You jumped out of your chair to help the blind woman on the tube and you placed your hand on her back to guide her into the seat. She smiled in gratitude. You lifted all of us in the carriage for those brief few seconds.
To the woman who jumped to help the mother with a pram down the steps at London Bridge station: You didn’t hesitate when you saw her. She was a complete stranger, but you knew she and her baby needed your help.
To the customer services staff working at Oval tube station: You were so helpful and unfazed by my questions today. The warmth you have created for people passing through the station is beautiful to behold. To anyone journeying through south London it’s worth making a detour to Oval tube station just to peruse the book exchange, see the lush plants lining the walls, wallow in the music reverberating through the station and to reflect on the poems and pictures on the walls. It was such a pleasure to experience the feeling of kindness and calm in the station. What needs to happen to make all stations feel like that?
I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes from Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
It’s hard to stay optimistic in the face of so much negative media reporting and disregard for humanity. Yes, sign the petitions and go on the marches. Get angry and make sure your voice is heard. But above all, be kind to others and give, give, give. It will reap rewards and it cannot fail to make the world a better place.
Need inspiration? Here are a few good places to start:
Read The Go Giver: A little story about a powerful business idea, and when you’re done with it, give it to someone else.
Random Acts of Kindness week is February 12th – 18th – that’s really soon! What are you going to do?
Read, share and listen to stories – they broaden our minds and make us better human beings: In the words of Madeleine L’Engle:
“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
Check out some of the amazing projects seeking crowd-sourced funding.
And finally, believe in yourself and your ability to make a difference. These were Obama’s words when he left office:
“My last ask is the same as my first. I’m asking you to believe – not in my ability to create change, but in yours.”
Love is stronger than hate, and it will prevail.