...which seems like exactly the right time to thank everyone who volunteered a photo after reading my last post. You know, I hit publish on that one and then I thought Sian: what a daft idea: why would anyone want you to scrapbook their pictures? I was keeping my fingers crossed that I'd get one reply. As it turns out, I have lots! Thank you. My plan is to work on a little schedule of posts, see what I need and aim to have it finished up for the New Year.Something for after Christmas.
Because we all have plenty going on at the moment; and that brings me to World Kindness Day.
|Kindness in action: my lovely blog friends won't ever see me stuck for a new knitting pattern, or even some furry liners to keep my feet warm this winter (thank you Julie and Sandie). So I hope I can pass it round a little by knitting socks..|
Last week, or maybe the week before, I opened an email from notonthehighstreet. I bought lots of gifts there last year. I think they're great; but I wasn't shopping this time, I was simply intrigued to find out that 13th November has been designated World Kindness Day.
I believe in the power of kind. For without kindness, how can there be love? As I was growing up I had a Mum who showed us how it worked; how acts of kindness have in their beginning an understanding of what another person might need, how we had a choice in how we could make someone feel. It was a powerful tool, a good way to offer discipline without even having to raise her voice.
"Would you like it if someone did it to you?" she would say; and I'm sure it's in that thought that the act of kindness begins: to do only what we would have done to ourselves. Would you like it? I'd love to see that posted in every classroom the world over. Wouldn't that be fine? Not a day of kindness; but every day, with kindness.
Oh, I'm no saint. Do I go round spreading sweetness and light wherever I go? Of course not. Just ask the family what happens when I get emergency hungry. But I can try. I have good examples to follow. As a nation, here, we like to help each other out, although I expect the rest of the world sometimes finds that difficult to believe.
I've already, once upon a time on Storytelling Sunday, told the story of the mum who made a point of spending some time with me every night when I was on my own, in hospital, as a little girl. I have no idea if she knew how much her kindness meant to me then; though I've never forgotten it. But I have one more story before I ask you for your own.
Years ago, as a young Mum, I packed my toddler into the car and headed out to do some messages. We squeezed into a tight parking space in the university area of town; and I opened the car boot, pulled out the buggy, and settled a tiny version of The Tall One (no beard, but plenty of mouth) inside. Then I turned round to close the boot. But it wouldn't shut, wouldn't stay down, no matter how much I slammed it, how many times I tried. Which left me with a dilemma. I couldn't just walk away and leave it:pretend I hadn't left my car open to the world and hope for the best. But I couldn't just get back in and drive home again with the boot lid flapping open either. We were, I told the small boy who was happily chewing on his mitten, between a rock and a hard place. I stood there, perplexed, hoping for a miracle, when suddenly I heard one right behind me.
Do you need a hand? the miracle said, and he reached up to look at the lock. He was an engineering student, he told me; and he had been sitting in his window studying when he had spotted that I was in trouble.
I didn't want to see you stuck he said, and with that the boot lid closed.
I didn't want to see you stuck. That's kindness. That's what it's about. That lad probably has a family of his own by now. He'll have forgotten all about the day he helped a young mum out of a very sticky spot. Or maybe not. I suspect he's the kind of person who is still offering a hand wherever he can. Here's to a world full of them! Now, tell me a story of your own for World Kindness Day.