3 October 2019

HUMAN KINDNESS



Human kindness goes a long way, we all know this, but I honestly think it is something we are truly lacking in as we move more and more into an age where life exists at the end of a device (I am just as guilty of that by the way, so no preaching here!). Last week I was reminded in a rather abrupt way, how important it can be to have a little chat with a stranger and share your day, even in a small way.

Last Friday, I had a really bad day. If you watch my IG stories regularly, you will know about this, as I had quite a lot to talk about on Friday night! I won’t go into it, it is only business related things that were super frustrating and, in the scheme of the way our planet is right now, it really isn’t a big deal at all. What I wanted to talk about was something that happened that made the day so much brighter for me.

My stress levels were through the roof, and had been for over 24 hours whilst I was sorting something that was proving to be an issue with a particular piece of work, and having been out and about problem solving on my day off, I was tired, emotional and frustrated. I was desperate to get home, make a coffee and, in all honesty, crawl into bed and sob, when I had a ‘pull’ from the universe to stop at Costa and go inside for a coffee. This may not seem like anything strange, only I never go in; if I want something I use the drive thru, being the stressed out introvert I am sometimes! But that afternoon was different,  I ‘had’ to go in, so I did.

I walk in, grab a tasty wrap and head to the counter to be met by a lovely smiley face, thank God, because I wasn’t in the mood for grumpy (I was already flying that particular flag very well!). The girl behind the counter and I chat a bit about the day and, when she asks how my day is going I tell her ‘not so great, I’m bloody stressed right now!’. So we talk a bit more and she says this to me ‘... you know what, what you need is a bit of human to human kindness, your coffee is on me’. 

Needless to say I almost burst into tears, I did well up but held myself together until I got back to the car because a) I didn’t want her thinking I was a total loser and b) there was a couple right behind me that looked unable to cope with a blubbering, hormonal, stressed out woman!

The effect that amazingly kind gesture had on me lasted for days; she totally didn’t even have to talk to me, but she was happily chatting, we laughed and even spoke about Boris Johnson’s hair for some reason, and it was just a lovely little day-brightening moment. That little bit of kindness, by which I mean the conversation, topped off with her giving me a coffee, made me feel reconnected to other humans again, at a time where other humans had really let me down.

Think about it, how many times do you do what I do and choose the drive thru to get a coffee, rather than add just a couple of minutes to go inside. Who knows how many missed opportunities there have been. It could be something similar to what happened for me today or, but don’t forget this part, you could be the one who changes someone’s day, and that is so powerful isn’t it?

That girl, whoever she is, is probably at home, having a cuppa, thinking about what she is doing tomorrow, unaware that she made me rethink the kindness of the human race. If only she knew! I feel like starting a hashtag, which I will steal from Peta, who suggested this one #findcostagirl, but realised that would be a very sad and quite ridiculous thing to do, considering I could just go back in and say ‘hi, it’s me, the crazy stress head you gave a coffee to... I just want to say thanks for being an amazing human being’.

Anyway kids, the moral of this story is to never under estimate the power of a small, random act of kindness. Always consider others because someone may be having a shocking day, but you may be the one to change that for them. We can all do a little bit more and we should be doing more. We all need to be a little bit more like ‘Costa Girl’ or, just because I can’t talk about random acts of kindness without mentioning her, a bit more like Emily Coxhead, creator of The Happy Newspaper, who is in the habit of leaving happy, motivational and inspirational notes behind on tables, or tucked in books in bookshops (usually her own book these days!). If you want a happy human to follow online, the follow Emily on Insta, she is the most magical lady going!
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