Day Twelve: the kindness of strangers

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At the risk of sounding dramatic (because I would never do that) I can honestly say that my life has been saved by a simple act of kindness from a stranger, and I truly believe that the power of being kind should never be underestimated. My story is neither dramatic nor particularly interesting but quite simply involved a lovely lady in a bakery offering me an extra slice of pizza free of charge. Odd, yes, but true none the less. There’s no way she could have known that one simple gesture meant that I went home and had a good cry in front of a soppy film as opposed to my earlier plan of sticking my head in the oven. But that’s exactly how things turned out and it could so very easily have gone the other way. “A slice of margarita pizza saved your life?!” I hear you cry? Yup. Quite simply put, it did. So grateful was I to that random bakery worker that I desperately wanted to go back the following day to thank her for her kindness and tell her what she’d inadvertently done, but I couldn’t think of any possible way of wording this conversation without sounding COMPLETELY INSANE. So I didn’t. But I’ve never forgotten the way she made me feel or the effect of that simple gesture. My story is a good example of the fact that we never really know what’s going on in other peoples’ lives behind the facade. By this I don’t mean that it’s ok to be shitty to other people just because you’re having a rough time, but you really can’t ever be sure. Think of how many times you’ve been screaming on the inside but have had to slap a smile on your face and carry on. If you’re anything like me this is a fairly regular occurrence. It works the other way round too – you’re just managing to keep it together when someone snaps at you, or cuts you up on the road, or takes the last pint of milk in the supermarket and suddenly you want to cry. Or, in my case, punch them in the face (I have issues, ok?). All of that aside, I fully and wholeheartedly believe that the good people in this world outweigh the bad, and I hope and pray that this may always be the case. When they set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston marathon last year, most of the crowd ran towards the blast to help. Two sad individuals’ destructive minds against dozens upon dozens of selfless acts. Two against hundreds. I know who my money’s on if it really comes down to it. Long live kindness I say.

 

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