First up, I would like to ask you a question. What is the reason you wake up every morning? What is it that gracefully wakes you from the slumber of dreamland? Is it motivation to achieve something more or is it the sensation of necessity?
For me, it is the knowledge that I am happy; it is motivation that wakes me up. Every day I am fortunate to have the opportunity to make a difference; I can campaign about my passions as they explode with reels of inspiration from within my mind. I can resist the temptation to fall back asleep, and I claim the day’s victories in kindness – no matter how small they may be.
Everyday I wake up, ungracefully, I should add. I sleepily open one eye, bleared with dizziness, half the duvet on the floor, (Tracy Emins messy bed springs to mind) my hair a mess, body mangled with pain, and with desired sleep calling me back to the realms of rest; and I jump out of bed (as literally as my body allows hehe). Yet, I am awake, ready, motivated to do what I do best - autism activist work and random acts of kindness.
I am a firm believer that random acts of kindness are the difference between feeling accepted – friendship, and loneliness; and in extreme cases, life and d34th. Random acts of kindness are opportunities that appear in daily, often hourly life. If you have dreams of making a difference in lives of others, but opportunities seem to be tainted with mist; it is hard to realise when these opportunities arise, and what the best cause of action is to take. The best action? Try your best, no matter what that looks like.
Try to be a person who is interested in others, if it is safe to: * try to be the person who would help an old lady cross the road (with consent, that is!) * try to be the person who gives to charity or campaigns for change * try to be the person who would comfort others * try to be the person who would help someone pay for a meal if they ask or show need * try to be the person to accept 'no' even if you're trying to help * try to be the person who smiles and says hello to the homeless on the street * try to be the person who makes small talk to the elderly on buses. If it is safe to, try be the person who would go out of your way to help a stranger or loved one, in need. If you are already that person, then there is no need to worry; you are already achieving that dream of making a difference. You just have to believe in yourself and your abilities of kindness; because kindness is within us all. It is our human nature to want to help one another in our survival. We are all humans, despite our differences and we can all help make a difference; momentarily changing stranger’s lives and changing our own lives, and our outlook, for the better. The relief of knowing you are not alone can be the sole push towards a future with an positive outlook.
I am going to write a short story now to try and capture your imaginations, as to just how a random act of kindness can make a difference. Just imagine this:
“ Rain drizzles down onto the dirty window pane, clouding the view. Harry leant against the window, one hand outstretched his palm flat on the cool of glass, the other hand drumming restlessly on the seat to the side of him. A sense of dread rises within him as the train sits at the station. He shudders, his thoughts a violent mess of bubbling frustration and fear, the train judders into life and powers on again, picking up speed now; taking him away from any hope he had left. He sighs and shifts, feeling shaky, blankly gazing out the window with glazed and tearful eyes. Wild abandoned hope, that sensation of pain and fragile being, seemed to hold him tight in a grasp of panic; one question burning through his mind... what an earth could he do to salvage this situation? Eyes closing, he leans his head against the train wall, noting with dismay that his heart was palpitating and the shuddering train was making him feel sick. Anxiety rose along with his desperation. He couldn’t have a panic attack here. Please not here. Not in front of all these judgemental strangers... He shakes his head, his breath coming thick and fast now, fingers restless, drumming fast, hopeless, agitated and sore. Through the cloud of pain and confusion, cutting through his battle to remain calm, comes an sudden unexpected warmth that rushes through his finger tips, the feeling resists on his hand. A gentle squeeze, it was comforting, but what was it?
“I’m real sorry you’re feeling unwell... Am I allowed to hold your hand? Can I help you at all?” asks a soft quiet voice, ethereal, sounding like it was speaking from miles away. He looks around to see his unlikely saviour, the source of the glowing warmth that has since rushed from his hand to his heart, warming him through, demisting the panic of judgemental strangers. His eyes take in someone gazing at him, as they sat beside him, smiling sadly. He looked down to find their hands carefully placed on his own battered and scratched hand. He looks again at this stranger, this incredible person who has decided to try and help whilst all these others sat, wrapped up in their own lives, ignoring and careless. His eyes prickle, his fingers that were once tense and hopeless suddenly relaxed, hope swelling. He looked at this person, his eyes widening, his breath slowing. That warmth tingled within him, as he calmed. Removing his hand from the window he accepted a tissue and blew his nose unable to believe his luck that this stranger was trying to help him. This person wasn’t judging him to be weak or inhumane for his anxiety attacks. He wasn’t being made to feel like an alien who was pretending to be normal; he was human again. This person was treating him like a friend would; if he had any. Suddenly an emotion rushes through him, something unrecognisable, something warm, glowing ... it was nice; it was hope.
The relief courses through his veins and calms the raging sense of alarm that sizzled there just moments before. He had been scared of having an anxiety attack in front of judgemental strangers... but look at this, this stranger was helping him. Shaking, he squeezed their hand and removed it, suddenly feeling like he didn’t want to push his luck. The comfort of warmth from their embraced hands now gone, but the feeling of hope lingers. The stranger smiled at him, suddenly embarrassed at holding his hand, and there was that warmth again, firing up within his heart as he realised with a new found certainty that people do care – this stranger has just proved it by putting themselves in an potentially awkward and embarrassing situation, just to help him. Going out of their way to help him, when he had been feeling so desperate, so alone, and burdened with his problems. They sat side by side until it was time to go, he stood up ready to depart and suddenly felt a massive necessity to thank this stranger. He stood up tall, no longer slumped and shaking, exhaling, feeling much more relaxed, he looked the stranger in the eye and said “Thank you... so much. I was in a bad place and you took time out of your own life to try and help me. A stranger... That meant a lot. Thank you” A little smiles slips onto his lips and he nods in farewell at this stranger, who was smiling from ear to ear, eyes brightened. “Goodbye” The stranger said a little choked up, voice catching with the sudden pleasure. Their eyes interlocked, both of them remembering the sensation of being appreciated and being helped. They waved a cheery farewell and he stepped off the train; exhaling as he shook his head with a little laugh, a smile spreading along his lips; he may have his problems but people care... if a stranger cares, then he is not alone. That is all that matters.
The stranger sat on the train, bristling with pride, chuckling to themselves. “No matter what people say... I am NOT a bad person because I do try to be my best, even when I fail” with a smile, hope rushing through them, appreciating their own glow of warmth that glazed through their heart, they shut their eyes awaiting the long tiresome journey a head of them; the stress of peoples harsh comments washing away now. They knew they were kind and that they cared and made a difference today... that was all that mattered. The train rattled on, taking these two strangers away from each other, never to see one another again, but never away from their experience today. The impact of such a random act of kindness was too great for that. They would be forever etched into each other’s memories and hearts, when times grew too hard; they would become that glowing hope that enlightens the path with hope and clarity of the good in the human race. That, is all that matters“
Thank you for reading my little short story; I hope it wasn’t too long winded! My message is this - the reward of being the sole reason for someone’s smile is beyond measure, truly priceless. If you help a stranger with a random act of kindness, then that feeling of clarity will remain with you, enabling you in your own darkest moments. It is an emotion and warmth that you simply don’t forget; something that can push your forward, clearing any mist of confusion and allowing you to see what is really important in life. Once you realise that, you are that much closer to reaching your dreams, you will realise what path to take, and how to pave your own way to a brighter future. your future is bright, because it is yours - because you are a person who tries to be kind, even if sometimes you make mistakes, fail or aren't your kindest self. Don't go to sleep at night, giving up on the kindness within you. trust in the power of yet. you don't feel kind yet? there's still time. You don't believe in a positive kind future yet? there's still time for your experiences, emotions and misconception to change. believe in the kindness within you. Next time you go to sleep, rest with inner faith, and next time you wake up, please, find a mirror & embrace what you see-remind yourself of your beauty & strength of character. Look at your ‘imperfections’ and Remind yourself of the good that you do, how much you try your best, how much love you give, the kindness you share, the efforts & sacrifice you make, & count them all towards your overall character. True strength of character is seen in the beauty of treating everyone with kindness, patience, love & respect, even when you’re going through h**l. Even when they can do nothing for you, in return. Kindness is being kind with no reward-because the act of kindness was enough for your heart to glow & feel good. Look in the mirror & Accept your ‘imperfections’ with the power of ‘yet’- & Count those blessings in kindness, because you’ll find, that you really are a beautiful character-inside & out. Those imperfections aren’t real-but YOU are-your kindness & your character, is. There’s nothing more beautiful or strong, than that. It’s time you believe it, one day when you look in your mirror, you will see your kindness shining back at you. You will see beauty, you will see perfection in your imperfections. Every kindness makes a difference, & can change lives of those suffering, or those just trying to get through each day. One day, the universe will reward your beauty, in more obvious ways. One day, you’ll see the beauty & the strength, in your character, too. So, from one human who’s been saved by random acts of kindness, to another, thank you. Thank you for your kindness, because one day I believe it will save the best of you, not just the people around you. I have seen many people blossom like flowers in the sun, from simple acts of kindness – it works. So let it work for you; change lives, to change your life.
x <3 x