I wrote a blog post a while ago about my complete distain for the news…and its lack of positivity. It’s downright grey perspective of our world and the humans that inhabit it. If you were an alien and came to earth and only watched the news to find out about this world called planet earth, I am pretty sure you would turn around and go straight back to where you came from, running in the opposite direction to the world seemingly filled with natural and man made disasters without anyone to change anything about it. Because frankly watching the news is never a pleasant experience.
I am not going to let this turn into another rant about all the news isn’t and all it should be. Instead I am going to bring to you today my own news, and I hope you can all contribute something too.
What makes me smile more than anything are the little pockets of goodness I notice in the world, some days, the grey days, the rainy days, exam days they are impossible to see and its tiring to seek them out and other days they are everywhere . And I for one think they need sharing….so that on days when you are finding them hard to see you can read this or recall this post and remember there is good in the world. These are not necessarily national news worthy posts….not even local newspaper worthy but still smile worthy. They are people I have met….strangers I have encountered and situations I have had the pleasure of finding myself in.
So without further ado….just a few of the pockets of goodness I have seen lately…
1) The Polish man in the airport- who despite the language barrier upon seeing my Mum (who is a nervous flier already) forced to lie on the floor (at 2am in the morning) with a backpack for a pillow because of the complete lack of seats, stood up whilst him and his wife insisted that she take his seat whilst he stood. He clearly saw it as polite but I just saw it as an extremely kind and a touching gesture.
2) The Stranger in greggs- I posted a facebook status about this because it made me so overjoyed in humanity and redeemed all hope that the news often causes me to lose. I stood at the till in Greggs quite clearly holding a debit card, the cashier made my drink and then said I couldn’t pay on card, because it wasn’t enough money (no signs to warn me that I needed cash for purchases under £5!!) I did panic….was not sure what my options were, did I offer to run around the corner to withdraw cash or to decide I just didn’t want the drink? I only had 2p change you see and called to my friend who was sitting down, who gave me 50p but not before a complete stranger had without hesitation come from his spot in the queue and just handed me a £1 without thinking about it, with a smile. He may have seen it as just giving a pound to the flustered girl holding up the queue, but it made me smile and I was so grateful to him. And it made me want to pay that forward (more to come on that …)
3) The stranger I sat next to on the plane, who could quite clearly tell I was going to struggle to get my huge rucksack from the overhead carrier on the flight (especially as my dad who was now at the back of the plane had lifted it in there for me) and so before I had even stood up lifted it down and handed it to me with a smile. Your thoughtfulness and initiative made me smile!
4) The creative person who thought it would be great (and it was!) to write messages all around the campsite in colourful sticky tape. You brightened up my day when I spotted your messages. Especially given how muddy and dreary campsites most commonly are.
5) The boy in the year below, who I know everyone thinks might be a bit of a loner and may judge him on that, but who I spotted giving up his time to volunteer to be in the reading buddies scheme. Who I watched sit and listen to a year 7 painstakingly read for half an hour and then walked him out encouraging him to practise for next week. Your kindness and compassion for a year 7, that most would dismiss as annoying and irrelevant to a sixth former, really made me smile.
6) My head teacher- who’s great if slightly naive plan for our first assembly of term was to get members of staff and students to nominate their friends for achievements they had got across the last year. University offers and volunteering, running a first 10k and so forth were mentioned. Everyone clapped each other and it was so nice to collectively give recognition for these achievements , some been publicly known and some just under the radar that would never have been praised without our head teachers determination to encourage.
7) The member of public, who didn’t laugh when (firstly you should know I work as a lifeguard) when I was almost pulled into the pool (and I mean comedic-like wobbling as I was jolted forward only holding onto my upright position because of a quick fire release of the rope) trying to put the lane rope in, but instead immediately hopped in and did it for me without me needing to ask for assistance, reducing somewhat my shame of dropping the lane rope and the near miss of falling fully clothed into the pool.
8) The man on the street. With whom I did an awkward pavement dance, you know the kind. You and some stranger have spied that your path is on the same trajectory and therefore one of you must stick to your side while the other moves and you enter in a silent debate on which of you this must be. Normally when you and the stranger across from you realise you have both moved to the right and then the left and are consequently engaged in some kind of odd pavement dance you continue to stare at the ground in some state of perpetual british embarrassment as you hurry on past. This stranger….oh no he grinned and laughed and so I consequently grinned and laughed, then he stopped to say good morning and jokingly apologise for the dreadful pavement dance that had just occurred. You greatly improved what had been a very tiring and grey morning.
(^and yes this reason….is not national news worthy but it made me smile and I am sure it would too if it had been you it made my morning a whole lot more hilarious)
9) The time that my mum came home from school…with a present that had been sent in one of her students book bags (she teachers primary school) from my friend using her little brother as a messenger, a beautiful card with an amazingly kind message inside and huge bar of chocolate in order to cheer me up when my friend couldn’t be there in person to do so.
11) The Holocaust survivor lecturer- who gave up his time to be questioned and to tell what I can imagine is an incredibly impossible testimony to tell and relieve especially as it begins with the murder of your entire family. Not the fact that he gave up his time to speak to us or let us question him on his morals, faith and beliefs post holocaust. None of these things though, they stand true…..no it was the end of his speech, where he seemed almost choked up with gratitude as he thanked the room of teenagers I was in…actually thanking us for taking our time out to come and listen to his story. This man who survived one of the worst tragedies known to humanity was humbled by a group of teenagers taking a day out to come to a seminar in London. 6/7 months on from this seminar I still remember those words and still stand amazed at this gratitude for something so seemingly small something I considered a privilege to attend not a sacrifice of my time.
12) The family who hosted me and a friend for a night in a village in Zambia, who watched in amusement as they let us cook cabbage the way we eat in England (we actually were completely making it up we had no idea how to cook the cabbage) and who in the morning, laid the inside of the hut with their nicest cloth and utensils and cooked a huge amount of eggs and bread and then gave it all to us. As we sat inside trying our best to demolish the breakfast we had presumed was for all of us, but was just for the 3 of us guests. I was just humbling them giving us all they had just because they wanted to make us feel welcome.
13) Dr Paul Whittaker- the deaf musician responsible for setting up the charity Music of the Deaf and pioneering its work to such extent it earnt him an OBE. For his patience with me as I slowly signed to him the words I didn’t know in sign language, who set up a whole concert in celebration of deaf music. Whose passion for music inspired so many kids in the choirs. Who stood at the front of the stage not caring what he looked like as he jumped around mouthing the words and showing the kids the signs to the songs they were singing. He was so truly inspiring and to sign with him in his concert was amazing, and to be thanked for my what seemed like minute efforts! For his determination to get a degree in Music despite being deaf and then to create a outlet for deaf people and music nation wide.
14) The Kind and knowledgeable stranger me and some friends met in London. Clearly we were struggling immensely to hire some Boris Bikes to ride around the park on….making a true mess of the simple process he talked us through the entire thing and helped us get our bikes before heading off on his! He had no need to waste his time on us who were probably just being a bit stupid about how to work the machine.
15) The wonderful music shop owner, who when heard about Andy sold 40 tambourines for use at the funeral to the Martin family for cost price, refusing to accept any profit on all 40 tambourines. He didn’t ask for any credit or favours….just was touched by Andy’s story and offered what he could and showed me that generous compassionate people are everywhere in our community.
But enough talking from me….
I want some audience participation. This time I don’t want this to be a blog post that you read as you drink your tea and think “Well that was nice”….no this involves some engagement.
I want you to think….no matter how hard it might be or something random that has happened to you, some pockets of goodness.
And share it! With those around you….and in the comments 🙂 We’d really love to hear what other people have noticed around them and what is making you all crack a small smile at 🙂
So please comment with your own observed pockets of goodness!
And have a truly excellent day wherever you are and whatever you are doing 🙂 And remember to spread your own joy in some small way, smile at a stranger, buy a colleague a coffee, leave a nice note for a friend..whatever it might be. Think about how much small things like that would brighten your day…if we all do it how much brighter will all of our days be! (answer a whole lot)
Pay it forward and share with us how you have!