My wonderful friend, Swamiyesudas has just posted a piece about kindness over on his blog, urging everyone to perform an act of kindness each day. Imagine the ripple effect! My child never ceases to amaze me with her understanding of kindness. A few weeks ago, a little friend of hers had to have some medical tests. She was concerned about her friend, and wanted to go along for support. We were just about to leave the house to go meet them when my daughter turned around and ran into her room. She came out with her beloved bulldog, made at a soft-toy party a few years ago. She gave it to her little friend, and the joy exuding from both of them lit up the train carriage as we made our way into the city. Her friend had found a light sabre on their last playdate, and gave it to my daughter to keep. My kid hadn’t forgotten her kindness. It is hard to describe how ecstatic my daughter was when we bumped into her friend at the shops a few days later. There she was, clutching the bulldog. “She loves him!” my daughter exclaimed. “Yes, she certainly does!” I smiled.
Last weekend, I took her into the city. There were hoards of people around as we strolled through Haymarket, and I grabbed a hold of her hand. Suddenly, she paused. She retrieved the pocket-money from her purse and went over to a man sitting on the ground. He had two little dogs next to him, and was strumming The Beatles’ Blackbird on his guitar. She gave him everything in her purse. He looked up and smiled, tears in his eyes. As we continued walking, she said, “mum, I have a tingle all over. Giving feels wonderful doesn’t it?” Yes it does darling, yes it does. A child noticed a homeless man and his little dogs. I hope that he does indeed take his broken wings and learn to fly.
As we walked through Darling Quarter, we came across a table filled with exquisite paper flowers. A lady smiled at my daughter, and handed her one. I took an information card. They were giving away flowers in honour of Esther Day. Esther was sixteen when she died, and her wish was for people to spread love to others. She would be proud of these beautiful people, I am sure. Kindness is given and received, in an endless cycle of magnanimity.
The next day we met a grand elderly lady called Anna at the bus stop. I told her that I had been admiring her colourful way of dressing for the longest while, and had been meaning to tell her. She would board the bus smiling, her slight figure clothed in emerald, sapphire and ruby-red hats and coats. We got into a conversation, and she told us that she volunteered at our local palliative care ward, sitting with loved ones, offering cups of tea and comfort. My little girl was regaled by her stories, and sat with her the whole bus trip, Anna’s arm around her. Kindness goes around in an endless cycle of magnanimity…
To learn more about Esther Day and many other inspiring projects, check out The Deluminators