Yesterday was National Kindness Day and that is something that I think about a lot, as I try to be kind to others when I can . Someone this week told me that I was ‘amazing’ and ‘kind’, when I had left some homemade shortbread on her doorstep as she is struggling at the moment, so it was my way to try to make her smile. While I told her that I was definitely not amazing, as I feel very uncomfortable being described that way, I told her that I would accept her ‘kind’ compliment. My general approach is to try to treat people as I would hope to be treated myself, which tends to keep me on the straight and narrow. I also adopt the phrase that ‘If I have nothing kind to say, then say nothing at all’, which can often – but not always – keep me out of trouble too!
Joshua tends to attract kind people too: throughout his life, he has had a series of girls who have looked out for him and have taken care of him. Even pre-school, Joshua had a special little girl who would love to stroke his chubby cheeks and take care of him at Toddler Group. We have stayed in touch with her, as her Mum is one of my best friends, and even now they are both 17, Joshua has a soft spot for her, we called in on her last sunday while she was working, to say hello. Then at mainstream primary school, Joshua had a very petite girl who was kind and helpful with him, but sadly when he moved to Special School, we lost touch with her.
Joshua has found however another kind peer at his current school who has often been in his class, she looks out for him and has been helpful in the past when he has seizures, helping the staff manage the situation in class. Joshuas face lights up when he sees her, so clearly he recognises , and responds to, kindness in others too. Unfortunately, Joshua does not really have the capacity to demonstate kindness, though he can give lovely bear hugs when they are needed.
There is a phrase that resonates with me, that says ” In a world where you can be anything, be kind”. It is not always possible, but it is certainly a good motto to try to follow. I would be pleased to think that, when I am long gone, that I am remembered as being a kind person, that hopefully extends beyond simply feeding people homemade baking, although that is a key way in which I show people that I care.