A couple of weeks ago I shared some little big acts of kindness – stories told by bloggers about actions taken to make a difference. Here are two more stories I really wanted to share with you. Enjoy!
About 13 years ago, we moved into a house in Mackay with three boys under the age of four. Our amazing neighbours offered to take our boys for a little bit so we could unpack! They even asked us if they wanted a cuppa. From that day on, till we packed up and moved to Brisbane, they would help us out anytime in anyway – from looking after our boys so David and I could go to have dinner, to even coming out to the movies with our boys even to see childrens movies. They were so kind to our family.
Kindness of Strangers
On the day the earthquake hit, my mind was in complete chaos. I grabbed my daughter and ran outside the house to see our entire world get thrown about as if on rough seas. There was no doubt the damage would be immense. This was the biggest quake we’d felt since that awful morning 6 months before.
In some ways, our little beagle running away gave my mind focus in the whirlwind of scary thoughts
“Was my husband OK?”
“Had his building come down?”
“Would he be able to get home to us?”
“Was my friend OK in her already-damaged house?”
“Was my husband OK?”
“Would there be more big ones?”
“Was my husband OK?”
I must have looked lost as I carried my 2 year old daughter in my arms, calling for my dog over and over. The adrenalin made the solid weight of my daughter seem less (and I didn’t want to let her go. I needed her close right now). We had gone down a couple of streets and it was looking less and less likely that Coco had hidden in someone’s backyard.
I didn’t notice that a car had pulled up next to us. I was lost in my own head. I’d given up on trying to get through to my husband on my phone and I was half-searching, half trying to keep my daughter from wriggling out of my arms. An elderly lady craned her head out of the window and asked if we needed help.
I’ve never been the kind of person to accept favours easily. Normally, I would have politely declined. Thankyou, I’m OK.
But on this day, in this moment, when my world was caving in around me, those words were like a weight being lifted off me. I accepted her help. Her husband in the driver’s seat kept up a steady banter while I strained to see a hint of black and white fur behind bushes. I barely heard what he said as this unknown lady and I called the dog’s name together and drove up and down the streets we could go down (our way was barred by liquefaction on many streets and groundwater had started flooding peoples’ yards).
In the end, we didn’t find our dog.
As we rounded the corner near our house, I saw my husband on his bike.
Such a surreal moment. He’d managed to get out of his building and the city before they barricaded it off. I am so glad he rode his bike that day. They stopped the car in the middle of the road and I jumped out. I’d been holding my daughter on my lap with no proper restraints. We stopped in the middle of a normally busy road. At the time it felt weird that every rule that normally applied was no longer important.
I very briefly thanked the elderly couple. It seemed so hollow to say the words when they had done something so momentous for me. They didn’t know me. Maybe we’d passed on the street before. Maybe they’d noticed our dog at the park some time or maybe they just thought that in that moment they could help someone in need.
I will never ever forget that small act of kindness. At the time, I didn’t connect it but I think it played a large part in my desire to start fundraising for Red Cross. ) I had never before been the kind of person to participate in any sort of charitable fundraising. In fact, it had never been on my agenda to do things for other people that I didn’t know.
Giving is now a big part of my blog (and my life). It’s the act of doing something for others that holds power. It’s great to think good things, but it’s the action that gives it meaning. It’s the action that touches others and makes a difference to their lives. A car stopping for a distressed mother can be a powerful act of kindness. Sometimes even the smallest acts can make a huge difference to someone.
P.S Our dog did come home. At 4am the next morning, she appeared on our doorstep, saturated to the bone from the rain and mud. She was OK. The family was all together again. We’ve never hugged her as much as we did that morning.
These stories are a reminder of the difference one person can make. Here’s a couple of ways you can too. You could change the life of someone who really needs it…right now.
1.3 million children there have become malnourished and some 15 million people are facing a large scale food crisis. The need is urgent. You can help.
Because everyone should experience an act of big little kindness.