Every now and then life gets a bit tangled. People become insensitive to one another and someone who desperately needs reassurance is ignored. Yet occasionally a person comes along and performs one random act of kindness to a stranger, successfully changing their entire prospective, if only for a day. I live by this principle even if I’m the someone who desperately needs reassurance from time to time. Why? Because one single thing done out of kindness, no matter how small, can have a positive effect on someone else who may well very much need it.
#PayItForward is a hashtag I use often on my Twitter account. The last time I used it involved giving away my violin, for free, to a man who had a granddaughter interested in learning. I’ve had that violin since I was a teenager. I remember every angle, every sticker, the beautiful deep hum as I tuned it, and of course, I cherished it dearly. So why did I give it away? Why did I give away something worth so much money, with a very special bow, to a complete stranger? Because I don’t play anymore. Because someone else could use it and share a memory with her grandfather. All I asked was for a picture to be sent to me of the little girl, and my donated violin, which I requested be given to someone else when his granddaughter no longer had a need of it.
I’ve not gotten that picture, nor should I really expect it. However, I can only hope my random act of kindness that made his day, makes her day. In our world where so many people struggle to find hope, solace, and concern from others, I wanted to share that moment.
National Day of Encouragement in the United States of American began in 2007, repeating annually every September 12th. If you’re unable to find someone to share your thoughts with, if you’re feeling trapped and alone, I very gently nudge you towards 7 Cups of Tea. People are there, available, to listen to your every fear, but most importantly they will not judge you, they will not condemn you. What you will have is someone trained to listen to you, who will actively respond to you, and show you the compassion you deserve as a person.
Consider today the day to start your random act of kindness to a stranger, because you never know when someone is suffering in silence. You never know if the harsh thing you said will be the last thing they hear. So don’t make it bitter, don’t make it cruel. Say hello to someone, ask them how they are doing, and truly listen to them. A single little thing can have a mountain of influence on someone who desperately needs it.