If Anything Else, Be Kind
Many of us go through painful circumstances that leave us heartbroken, depressed, or pushed back to a breaking point where it could bring our demise. Some of us aren’t so lucky with what happens in our lives; we are only human after all. But what makes us human are our capabilities to love one another, communicate, support and be kind to each other.
For us to thrive in this world, we could all afford to be a little bit more kind. One never knows when an act of kindness could change a life.
This isn’t a story about me or anyone person I know. This story comes out of my experiences, and the experiences of my friends and/or peers growing up in situations that can create a sense of not wanting to be around anymore. How many of us can relate to that?
I hope that by reading this story you may be moved to consider ways you can help kindness be more prevalent your life and in the lives of others.
Every day she went to school her classmates would tease her about how much she smelled. One day she tried to sit and spark up a friendly conversation with this girl at lunch because she had the same purple notebook as her. The girl ignored her at first then began to explain that she didn’t associate with weird girls who don’t shower.
Humiliated and hurt, she scuffled off to eat alone. That was the end of that.
She had a crush on this guy in her class who seemed to be friends with practically everyone because of his humbling and outgoing personality. One day she worked up the courage to ask him if he wanted to hang out. Startled at first and prone to avoid confrontation, the guy agreed to meet with her. But later, as she waited in the movie theater lobby all alone amidst the other couples, oblivious to her presence and walking by blissfully, he never showed.
After a few hours of painstaking waiting, that was the end of that.
One day she decided to confide in her physics teacher because he seemed to just get these “young people.” He politely told her to meet with him after class to discuss how she can make progress. The teacher felt her up under her blouse and whispered that she “would make a lovely afternoon snack.”
If she told anyone, he explained, they would not believe her because she really had no friends. She wished that was the end of that.
When she got home, the house was quiet as usual with her father drugged out on the couch transcending so high in his thoughts of space. Her mother ran out on them when she was eleven because a child didn’t suit well with her partying reputation and rock star lifestyle. The water bill was left unpaid again because her father swore once more that this time he’d become instantly rich at another night at the casino.
If she couldn’t shower, then she would just continue to smell. Also, the eviction notice lay perfectly placed on the coffee table signaling for its occupants to make haste, and that’s the end of that.
That night she turned on the radio in her room and stared blankly past her reflection in the mirror. She wasn’t really hearing the music, but she was highly aware of the pressure her hands made gripping her father’s bottle of aspirin that coiled in her palm. Some mornings her father needs the bottle to salvage one of his leftover nightly trips, but this time it was her that required the trip.
All she could think about is the end.
A knock on her door persisted, and before taking the cap off the bottle entirely, she curiously went to answer it. No one was there but a small package with a note on top reading,
“Don’t give up. I see you. I care about you. You are not alone.”
In the package was a blank purple notebook—she no longer had to confess her pain. A tear rolled down her cheek and a slight smile crossed her face. She closed the bottle of aspirin and opened her notebook instead, writing, “A new beginning…”.
I hope this story inspires you to be kind, because you never know how you could save a life.