Have you ever noticed how much kind words can change your whole day? You may be cranky, stressed out and overly emotional. You may be on the verge of frustrated tears and then you bump into someone you know, or you get a text message, a phone call, an email or a post on Facebook from someone who says something really kind and sweet and it instantly changes your mood.
I had one of these moments recently. I had had a long day, I was tired, a tiny bit (ie hugely) emotional and was feeling very stressed and like a bit of a failure. We’ve all had those moments. The ones where you stop and reflect on your goals and wonder where it all went wrong. I was realising (and not for the first time) that despite my dream to write novels, I’ve yet to come up with a winning idea. And that short story competition I want to enter in, the story for that has fizzled out and I’m left with a blank word document on my screen. I was starting to crash. I was feeling useless and hopeless.
Then I checked Facebook on my phone.
Someone who I used to be quite close with but haven’t had much to do with in recent years had written on my wall. When I clicked on the link in my notifications, I was taken to probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. It said, in part:
“I look at you and how far you have come and I am so proud of you for pursuing your dream and getting the job you have always wanted. … now I look to you as a role model of what just one woman can achieve if she sticks to her guns, follows her dream and never gives up. I know life has been bumpy, but you haven’t let it hold you back. You have gone out guns blazing saying “Guess what life, with all those lemons you have given me I have become pro at making all assortments of lemon based desserts! So go jump!!” … I will never forget what you have done for me and how much you both helped me through those tough years in my life. Honestly don’t know if I would be here if I didn’t have someone I knew I could call ANYTIME and they meant it. xxx”
I have never felt more flattered in my entire life. I actually had tears in my eyes due to the kindness of these words. The fact that she took the time to tell me those things really touched me and really changed the rest of my day. It also got me to thinking how rare these things are. People don’t generally say something nice just because so when it does happen, it’s incredibly special but you’re also taken aback. It reminded me that I’m not as kind as I wish I was, so I’m going to try and change that.
Ebony, I just wanted to say thank you for saying these wonderful things and helping me to believe in myself when I was feeling like a bit of a failure. To know that anyone thinks of me in the way that you do makes me feel like I am worth something and your kindness, friendship and impact on my life is something I will never forget. What we’ve been through together is more than most people can imagine and I’m so glad I had the privilege of having you in my life.
My challenge to you? Say something kind to someone. There is a whole “random acts of kindness” movement happening out there, why not extend it into words? If someone has been there for you during a difficult time, why don’t you tell them how much you appreciated it? If someone has done something you admire, why not say so?
So much of our energy as a whole is wasted on being negative so why don’t we try to be more positive and spread a little kindness around.
What’s the kindest thing someone has ever said or done for you? Do you value kindness?