THIS week I received a surprise parcel in a hand-written envelope through the post. This in itself is a rare enough occurrence these days as to cause a little rush of happiness when it arrived. But when I opened it, I was filled with even more joy. It contained honey candy, olive oil soap from a Greek island, and a red string bracelet with an engraved gold coin attached. There was also a thank you note from a stranger.
A month ago, I had answered a message for help from a friend in Greece. Someone they knew needed assistance with translating some documents and embellishing them with some English words they didn’t know.
I had some time on my hands and thought it would be a nice thing to do, so I said I would help. It took up a few hours of my time, we completed the work, and I thought no more of it. The woman asked for my address to send a thank you card, I gave it but said it wasn’t necessary as I was happy to help.
Fast forward to this week, I receive my wonderful parcel and it really got me thinking. It was World Kindness Day on November 13 and its purpose is to reinforce that compassion links us all together and that being kind has immense power in this not-so-kind world. An act of kindness can fill our hearts with joy and yet in our busy schedules, it is so easy to forget to take some time out to make a kind gesture for a friend, family member, loved one or even a stranger.
I know a lot of people have a twisted view because the world hasn’t been so kind to them. They are busy, no one would do it for them, they won’t get anything back, so why should they bother? That’s understandable but practising kindness itself can be the reward. I do think kindness is always in some way a transaction because even if you receive nothing in return, the sheer act of doing something nice makes you feel better.
It can make you feel like you are being the best version of yourself and honestly when you put that out into the world, you will soon start to see changes.
These changes may not be in the actions of others particularly, as some people do not know how to respond well to kindness. But the changes can be in the way you view the world. You will be able to see that someone tearing down celebrities, or activists or just people going about their lives is not kind and it is not conducive to making that person’s life better, only someone else’s life worse.
These actions add to a world that seems harsh and uncaring enough already, so I think I will look at my little red bracelet today and choose to be kind instead.
Claire Gordon’s opinions are her own and are not necessarily representative of those of the publishers, advertisers or sponsors.