being nominated for the Random Act of Kindness award was an unexpected surprise and a lovely one, at that. thank you to Richard at photosociology.wordpress.com for the honour. his writing is something i enjoy very much. he has a fantastic blog and in it, he discusses both his work and study as a photographer (his photography is brilliant) and his life, including his struggles with his eating disorder. i have learned a great deal from his work, and from his bravery as he pursues his dreams while dealing with the enormous challenges an eating disorder brings. a particularly good post about his struggles with the latter is entitled a successful day does not have to feel good. i fully relate.
choosing who to nominate next is part of the challenge, and a difficult one; i’ve encountered many kind, thoughtful, and courageous people in the blogosphere. ultimately, i decided on a writer who has given me great feedback, much needed personal support, and emotional reinforcement. for the Random Act of Kindness Award, I nominate Muted Mouthful. her blog is wonderful, a combination of personal essays and really great flash fiction. her recent post, entitled you are never really alone was particularly personally appropriate.
as to kindness, i think people undervalue it. it’s a characteristic i try to hold front and centre, even when i get cut off in traffic by people who are oblivious to the location and function of the turn signal. in part, my being kind is selfish; i get guilt when i’m unkind. since i hate feeling that way, i take the necessary steps to avoid doing so.
i have been incredibly fortunate in the kindness sweepstakes. i have known bullies, abusers, and narcissists, but i’ve also had incredibly kind people in my circle. strangers too, at times, can be lovely.
when i was twenty, i went to Europe for six weeks with a singing group. unfortunately for me, by the time we arrived in Paris, i had developed an absolutely vile, croupy case of bronchitis. the coughing was so bad that for our concert at Luxembourg Gardens, i was relegated to the park hinterlands, lest my hacking interfere with and detract from the performance.
i was sitting alone, feeling sad, miserable, and a bit like a pariah, doing my best to cough up a lung when a lovely, dapper, older french man sat down next to me on the bench and expressed concern. i told him, as best i could in my halting french, that i was unwell, and thanked him for his concern. he stayed with me while my travel companions performed, speaking to me slowly so that i could understand him, telling me about his life in Paris, and bringing me a great deal of comfort. it was a wonderful, thoughtful, and considerate act that i truly appreciated; it still gives me warm fuzzies when i think back on it.
wouldn’t the world be so much better if everyone was as kind? if everyone took the time to care for strangers in distress? what a pleasant place this would be.
as to how this keeps moving forward, the instructions and guidelines are as follows:
- tell us who you are nominating, and why;
- copy and share the picture that shows the award, which i posted above;
- share a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or show how you extended kindness to someone else. For instance:
- i was once waiting in a drive-thru line for twenty minutes. i was in a hurry, but the line didn’t move much, it felt like. my day was getting worse by the moment. when i got to the drive-thru window, the cashier said someone had paid for my meal already. that really made my day a lot better.
- nominate anyone, or share to your own page, if you choose to participate. tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you, or the original post: http://photosociology.wordpress.com/wordpress.com