It seems like every day there are more reports about horrific events occurring around the world and my heart absolutely breaks for the people that are suffering. Of course, it’s vital that these stories get news time, but when you’re feeling shitty already they can really take a toll – one of my friends messaged me the other day saying ‘the world is fucked and I can’t be arsed with it’ and I get that, because look at the horrors that are going on around us. However, I do genuinely believe that there’s ultimately more good in the world than bad, and every so often there’ll be a gem of a story about a random act of kindness and I’m reminded that there are some wonderful people out there. Here are a few…
I’ve been lucky enough to go to Jamaica twice and it has become my favourite place I’ve travelled to, purely because of the wonderful people I’ve had the privilege to meet. The country is so poor in wealth but so rich in society and life values. While I was there, we spoke to a lovely waitress, Natalla, every day. One time, we talked to her about about this specific type of mango that we ‘HAD’ to try. She told us that we’d be able to get some at the market further along the beach and we were really grateful – let’s be honest, you can’t beat local knowledge. Anyway, the next day we saw her and she told us she had something for us, she scuttled away and out she came from the kitchen with four mangoes she had bought for us – we insisted that we give her some money for them but she refused and said ‘this is my gift to you’. I know that a lot of the people in Jamaica barely have any money but their kindness is truly on another level.
Recently, I’ve had the privilege of meeting one of the loveliest people I have ever met. We’re gonna call him LP, short for Lovely Person because creative cover names are clearly my strong point and his request of ‘Thunderwolf’ somewhat detracts from the tone;) When LP was young, he had a paper round and every day he would deliver the paper to an elderly couple who would sit outside together reading. One day, he noticed that the lady was on her own and asked where her husband had gone, she told him that he had passed away, so LP said ‘would you like me to read the paper with you?’ and sat down to read with her. LP still visits her whenever he’s home from uni and if that doesn’t warm your heart, I honestly don’t know what will.
My beautiful but incredibly clumsy best friend, Leila, fell off a train one day – if you know her, you’ll know this is a very typical occurrence. On this occasion, she split her knee open and had no tissues or anything to wipe up the blood. A man who had been standing on the platform and saw her fiasco came over to offer help. She asked if he had a tissue but he insisted that she take his whole pack of Kleenex and also, his bar of chocolate, he then offered to walk her to her next train to make sure she was okay – what a sweetheart.
In 2015, I was out with one of my best friends, Billy, when I was spiked. Billy called my best friend, Leila, and my parents to come and help but I don’t remember any of this. It would be easy to look at this event and think ‘wow, what absolute dicks spiking someone’ but you also have to look at the kindness that occurred too – a few girls stopped and found Billy on his own, clearly panicking, and stayed to help in any way that they could. When Leila arrived, they asked her if she could take their numbers and keep them updated about how I was doing once I was taken to hospital. These lovely ladies were complete strangers, but showed such care and concern for someone they didn’t even know. A few days later, I got their numbers from Leila and messaged them to say thank you, to which they replied ‘you don’t need to thank us, we’re just glad you’re alright’.
In 2013, I’d already had a few years of bad health so I decided to start writing down all of the little things that made me happy each day and putting them in a jar. At the end of the year, I sorted all of the post-it notes into sections for each person so I could show people that they had helped make that year great. I noticed that a lot of the post-it notes were actually from things random strangers had said to me, or done to help me. It makes me smile so much knowing that every single one of these post it notes contains something lovely from someone who doesn’t even know me. This is how many there were.
There’s no denying that there’s a lot of horrible things happening in the world, and these small acts of kindness seem insignificant in comparison – but, these are just tiny examples of the bloody lovely people that are out there, let’s not forget about them.
Stacks of love,