For some time now I have had “random acts of kindness” in my to-do list, a series of ways to bring more kindness into your days and to experience the joy of giving to others, randomly, for no other reason than kindness begets kindness.
I have a list of ideas and inspirations that shoot off from these little words that fill a line in my note book. Ideas of ways to express kindness. Ideas of ways to do something random, either for someone I love or for someone I’ve never even met before. Ideas that I will bring to life in the coming weeks. These ideas have been sitting around in my notebook for weeks (or is it months now?) and like so many important things in our lives they get shelved, for the hum drum day to day responsibilities that seem to tie us all down. For me right now it’s term papers and final assignments and… and… and… But really, they are all just excuses. Excuses that keep us “too” busy, excuses that stop us from growing.
I wasn’t planning on writing a random act of kindness post today, but then something happened. Someone reached out to me with something unexpected, something beautiful, something that brought a new kindness into my life and it was the perfect inspiration to start this series. I got a message from a girl I went to high school with lifetimes ago. We were always friendly but never close friends. We had similar interests but we never really knew each other. We went to parties and brushed shoulders at events and always smiled and said hello, but there wasn’t much beyond that. She reached out to me, for no other reason than to say hello. She reached out to me to say, you know what, I think what you’re doing is great. Nothing more and nothing less.
With the beautiful words she wrote on her page, she gave me the gift of acceptance and love and warmth, and she reminded me of something that is so easy to forget.
We live in an incredible world. We are more connected to each other than we ever have been before. We have access to people who we would have lost over time. People we knew many moons ago. We see pictures of friends getting married and having babies and doing incredible things all around the world. People who we once knew but who we would never see in our day to day lives. People we wouldn’t think to invite to dinner, weddings we would never get to attend, babies we will probably never meet. Facebook is pretty amazing like that, it’s like we are all voyeurs looking on as people we once knew go about their lives and let you peek inside, just a little, and you see them grown and happy and changed and amazing. It’s a gift.
With this gift comes a connectedness and a closeness that never existed before. But as we all know, you can stand in a crowded room and still feel completely alone.
I’m sure each and every one of us has experienced what that is like. Where on the outside your life looks picture perfect, like someones life may on their blog or on their Facebook page, but on the inside, things are different. Most of us have enormous numbers of friends on Facebook, so many people we have connected with at some point over the years, people we knew once but now we only know by their pictures and random status updates. People who we are completely connected to and totally disconnected from at the same time. People who we may recognise in the street, but turn away from, not being able to place the face or connect the name.I know I have many like that. Girls I shared locker rooms with. Boys who I once kissed at a party. Old boyfriends, friends of friends who I once partied with, other travelers who I shared once in a life time experiences with in jungles somewhere in Asia and then never saw again. We are all connected somehow. Connected by experiences we shared and experiences we had alone. The human experience is unique to each of us but it is also universal. Your pain is my pain. Your joy is my joy. Our fears are as different as they are exactly the same.
This beautiful woman who I knew as a girl, reached out to me, for no other reason than to reconnect. To share her words and make my world a better place for it.
Want to bring a little extra light into your otherwise average Wednesday? Go onto your Facebook page right now and scroll through your friend list. Choose one (or more!) person you haven’t had any contact with and reconnect with a random act of kindness, for no reason at all. You never know where it might lead… as much as sometimes it might feel like we are all doing this alone, we are actually all in this together.
Reach out, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Those who think that money makes the world go wrong are looking at the world from the wrong angle. People make the world go around. Relationships are all that matter. We can be rich or famous or powerful or we can feel like we are winning imaginary competitions in life… but what are we if not kind and compassionate?
Have a beautiful day, friends. xox