Yesterday (Thursday) as I got ready to train for the 26 mile hike I’m doing on 8th June to fundraise for Macmillan, I thought ‘the last thing I want to do right now is go out training in the rain’ I was tired! I’d had a long day at work. My eyes, my mind, my legs were tired. Just as I thought those thoughts I remembered my dad’s voice as I called him the morning of his first chemo appointment. I’m sure he didn’t feel like going for chemo, but he did it anyway. He did it for us, our children, that he might have a chance to fight this condition and stay with us for longer. To spoil us, to look after us, to love us more than he had already. He didn’t feel like it but he did it anyway. Thursday’s training was the most emotional yet. I’ve been tearful for the last 24 hours, thinking about what my dad went through, what others are going through . We have no idea the pain people are going through.
I remember one day last year, it was probably this time last year when dad was at an appointment and the consultant told us the cancer had spread. There was nothing more they could do. As soon as I got the news it was like everything zoomed in on this information but within a few moments the reality of immediate life was also right in front of me. I had two hungry children in front of me with nothing in the fridge to cook. We’d run out of milk and bread so I couldn’t even make them something simple. Despite the huge blow to me after hearing this news I had to pull myself together and get to Sainsbury’s. As I pushed the trolley around the store my mind was foggy, I had no focus and I must have bumped trolleys with so many people. I had no idea what I was doing there. The simplest task of just putting a few things in the trolley for dinner that night seemed like it was going to take me ages and I was getting more and more frustrated. My heart was aching, in pieces, I was losing my daddy.
We don’t see it but there’s people all around us walking around in pain. They still have to go out and about and do day to day jobs. They still need to go to the shops, drop off their kids to school, take their car to the garage, think about cooking dinner, travelling to work, going to the gym. There are people carrying so many worries and fears. Maybe a mortgage payment they can’t afford, an unknown diagnosis, family issues, debt. It’s made me realise you never really know the pain someone is carrying so we need to try our best to extend kindness.
Research shows that when someone extends kindness to us, we are more likely to extend it to others. Even witnessing an act of kindness between two other people makes it more likely that we will be kinder in our subsequent interactions with others.
There are so many ways each day in which we can choose to extend kindness to others – smiling or saying “good morning” to strangers we pass in the street, reaching out to a friend we know has been struggling with something difficult, listening carefully in conversations and then responding thoughtfully, choosing to let go of resentment (rather than nursing a grudge), responding to another’s hurtful behavior by pausing and trying to understand what might be going on for him/her (rather than passing judgment or reacting with a harsh or hurtful remark), or simply remembering to ask rather than demand and to say “please” and “thank you.”
All really simple but kind gestures we can incorporate into our daily lives.
Be kind. There’s a lot of pain in the world that can be healed by our kindness ❤️
(If you can, please do consider a donation towards my 26 mile hike Im doing in June, thank you x https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rebeccanaidoo )