It wasn’t random, it was a series of frequent, persistent acts of kindness that seem most memorable to me. When I moved house, I no longer rode the bus to school. But I still went on it when I would go round to my friend’s house. I am pretty sure the bus driver knew that I had moved, but since then-and even when I told him I had moved house- he pretended I still lived in the village and had a bus pass, meaning I didn’t have to pay. Maybe it was because when I was much younger, in my first year of secondary school, I insisted on writing EVERYONE a Christmas card, and I gave him one. I don’t know. And I don’t know if I’m the only one he does this for. But it’s still makes me smile and is one of the acts of kindness I remember the most.
Once, I got lost in Disney world Florida when I was about seven. I didn’t even realise my family had walked off at first. But when I stopped playing and started to cry, I remember a woman walking me to the section she worked in, which sold Dr. Seuss books. She let me read them, while she rang her colleagues to find the rest of my family. And I don’t really remember crying, because I think she made me feel safe, better. I’m sure my dad thanked her, but it wasn’t until I looked back at the memory, older, that I appreciated her kindness.
My last random act of kindness was during my recent school trip. My friends and I were desperate to go to the fairground so we raced there when the teachers allowed us some free time. To go on a ride, you had to have a certain amount of tokens, which you could buy from a machine. Loading all my change in, to get as many as I could, I gazed around at the flash of lights and laughed at the screams of terror. Sooner than I thought, those screams belonged to me-a mixture of excitement and fear. And even sooner, it seemed we had to get back to the meeting point as our free time dwindled away. Shoving my hands into my pockets as I left a ride, I felt a couple of tokens still left. I looked at my best friend, who was doing the same thing and we shared that look of when you can read someone else mind. Then, we walked to the first person we saw, an old lady with her grandchildren and poured our small piles of tokens. All I could hear as we zipped our way through the crowds was her ‘thank you’ as her smile crinkled the skin around her eyes.
I believe kindness means defying whatever obstacles come up with the intention to help someone. For example, doing something that might be humiliating for you just because you know it will cheer someone up. And this links to current social media and the ability to post uncensored, anonymous comments. Because when it is easy to be hateful and abusive, it means being kind is resisting the hateful nature of the many comments made by ‘keyboard warriors’ in order to make an honest, thoughtful reply to the piece of information or media. So, I believe kindness, is making the time- rather than posting a nasty remark, which takes seconds- and the effort to do that thing to help someone. And an honest, thoughtful comment is much more likely to help someone because criticism is constructive, while saying ‘you’re stupid’ or something similar gives that person nothing to build from, just a knock to their confidence.
Confidence, I think, is closely related to kindness, too. Especially in terms of being kind to yourself. Because if you don’t believe in your self, you don’t believe it is worth doing something kind for yourself. And this negativity tends to affect others badly as well. I can openly admit that there have been times when I should have been kinder to myself due to confidence. But, also, situation and relationships with others can affect the way you treat yourself. Earlier this year, I felt like going to my dad’s every other weekend was a struggle, not just because of the difficulty in doing homework and revision, but because of tensions in the family. So, I made a decision that was kind to myself and told my dad that I couldn’t visit for a while. And I stood by my decision despite the way some of my relatives reacted. Doing that, defying the guilt and worries, made me happier and I’m proud of that. That big step has made me realise that it is easier than you think to be kind to yourself when you need a change, whether it is big or small.
In conclusion, I think that kindness has a significance in my life, which is greater than I realised. Kindness boosts positivity and confidence, which drives me to do new things and be kind to others, too.