Today was the National Day of Random Acts of Kindness. I’m not really about having a day especially for kindness, but I am aware that many people need a focus for random acts of kindness, and that’s okay.
Let me tell you, though, about what kindness looked like, in my life, today. Many days are full of kindness towards the women at Refuge – most days consist of emails offering me stuff, or money, or kind words.
Today though was something a bit special. It started, unbeknownst to me, with a call by the ASB on Twitter for nominees for a $250 one-off gift. Some very kind people nominated the #twitteraunties, and towards the end of the day, we recieved a tweet to say that we were the recipients of said $250. How wonderful!
And then, in the middle of a meeting at work , a soft knock on the door. It was my H. My H is one of the pieces of my heart. She is a woman who’s been knocked around by life, a lot. I met her in refuge, I’ve held her in my arms when life has taken a tragic turn, and then she went on to a new life, we thought. Kris and I were so happy for her. Twitter Aunties in Christchurch took her under their wings. She was finding some light again. And then, again, she was knocked down. She has come back to Auckland, and here she was. I took her in my arms – “you should never have shown me where you worked” – and I held on to her. She’s staying with another ex refuge mum, just for the moment, neither of them with any money, and then I suddenly remembered that I had been given $50 worth of Countdown vouchers which I was able to give to her.
I left work, and went to ring the woman who had helped H in Christchurch to let her know that she was safe, and instead got her business partner on the phone. A beautiful woman, a woman with heart and compassion, who listened as I sobbed on the phone, and reassured me that if there was anything the group of women could do down there, they would.
I ended the phone call and went to the fruit and vege shop to get some stuff for dinner. While there, Paul the shop owner asked me how I was. When I told him about H and what the situation was, he immediately went to fill a bag with fruit and vege for the two women.
When I got home, I recieved a call from a friend about a situation that required immediate attention, someone who needed rescuing. I, in turn, rang another friend to ask advice. And she and her partner leapt to help.
This is a day of kindnesses to strangers. This is a day, a day like most others, a day given a name to promote kindness. But the kindnesses I experienced today weren’t random. They fell into place, one after the other.
This is what kindness looks like, in my life.