Why is it always so much easier to focus on the negative in life? A few months ago a lady was so rude to me at the checkout in the supermarket. She was impatient and horrible to me and it really put a downer on my day. We seem to live in a world that is ever more impatient with others and demanding.
People seem to want things instantly and when someone shows a little kindness, it really can make a huge difference to your day.
We live overlooking a train line, and this year there has been a large project to remove a number of trees that overlook the tracks. One weekend, when the trains weren’t running there was a trackside machine that was cutting down the trees.
Mr D was in his element – a machine using the train tracks – truly the stuff of dreams for an almost five-year-old. He asked me what this amazing machine was called. I wasn’t sure but promised we would try to find out. In the end, we forgot as we went for a walk, collected autumn leaves and then came home.
Last week we were riding up and down the road on bikes and scooters when we saw a Network Rail van pull up. The children spotted the men as they got out and soon realised that they were there to cut back some of the trees. Mr D asked me if I thought they might know the name of the machine that we had seen a few days earlier.
He ran off up the road, and by the time I caught him up, he was deep in conversation with one of the men. The workman was bent down to his level having a good old discussion about the machine (an RRV in case you were wondering) and was busy explaining to Mr D and Miss E all about it, how it worked (it has a chainsaw within the arm) and took the time to explain how the machine is used.
Mr D was thrilled to find out the name, and we promptly came home to find an image of it and to take a good look.
It was a simple gesture of kindness from the worker. He could quite easily have ignored Mr D and his question about the machine, but instead, he chose to take the time to explain to an eager five-year-old all about this machine.
Such a simple act of kindness made such a difference to a little boy that day, and it made me think that we should all take the opportunity to acknowledge those little acts more, rather than get dragged down by the less kind acts we encounter.
Oxfam are soon to release a campaign titled #KindnessChangesLives, which is all about your own moments of kindness, or about anyone who has been kind to you without asking. I’d love to know about any acts of kindness you’ve experienced recently. You can read more about the work Oxfam do here: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/donate