Friday, 20 February 2015

Be kind

It's so simple isn't it. "Be kind"

In our busy lives remembering kindness isn't always easy. I certainly am often rushing from task to task, meeting to meeting. Busy, hectic, out of time.

Making time to be kind to others, even ourselves, is often the the last thing on our minds.

This year I have been thinking a lot about kindness.

One of my "pet hates" is token random acts of kindness. Yes kindness to strangers is important, for many reasons. Some people have no one. Some people have lots of people but no one knows they need help. Some people are in situations where a bit of kindness will mean the world to them, If you have opportunity to perform a random act of kindness then yes, be kind.

Yesterday I was in the reception area of a modern busy hospital and I needed the loo. If you have followed my journey lately you will know I have upped my water intake so when I say I needed the loo I really really needed the loo.

I noticed an elderly couple, the lady in a wheelchair, standing at the doors to the toilet area. I asked them if they were ok. She mentioned she had only just received new sticks. "What do you need me to do?" I asked. She asked me to guide her hands through the arm rests so I did. I then spotted as she stood up and I walked to the toilet with her, opened the door and made sure she was safe. It took 5 minutes. Her gratitude was immense. First be kind.

In hospitals kindness is often in short supply. People are busy, staff are busy, people are stressed. A kind word, a smile, a chat, they all help.

So much of what our volunteers do at Bliss can be summed up as bringing some kindness in.

A volunteer has time to ask "how are things with you today?" "Is there anything you need?" "Would you like a break for a cup of tea?"

Kindness beings and ends with us. Not just randomly but thoughtfully, considered, lovingly. To those we know and love, to those we know and maybe do not like.

When I think of kindness I am brought back to Matthew's gospel. Whether you are religious or not it rings true, every religion I know of stands the same on kindness, as does no religion, humanity thrives on kindness. It creates a fertile soil for other acts of kindness to take root and grow. Be kind.

"35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’"

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