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A Kindness Received is Powerful Indeed

Acts of kindness and Positive Psychology

The impact of kindness

I’ve written several blogs about kindness before, mostly about Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs), but it’s only in the last couple of weeks I’ve truly come to realise, from personal experience, just how important and powerful kindnesses can be.

It’s been a challenging and emotionally draining few weeks for my little family, my son started back at school in Year 1 at the beginning of September. Year 1 means lots of sitting down and listening, far less opportunity to choose which activity you’re going to do, much more time doing what you’ve been told to do. This is something of a culture shock to the children and some deal with that change more easily than others.

Unfortunately it seems our kind, loving, easy going, and generally mild mannered – albeit a crazy whirlwind – 5 year old son is one of those finding it hard to adjust. I’m not entirely surprised, but at some point each week we’ve had the teacher say “have you got a moment?” when we’ve gone to pick him up. It’s been an emotionally exhausting rollercoaster ride

So, what has this all got to do with kindness?

The past few weeks has shown me that there are lots of people who care and want to help, so many of my son’s classmates and friends mum’s have offered their support, giving suggestions of how to tackle it, told me what a lovely boy they think he is, how polite and loving he is, how good he has been when he’s been to their homes, how they don’t recognise this child the teachers are talking about (don’t get me wrong, our son is far from an angel, but it is hard to lose sight of his good points when all you hear are the negative). These mums, and dads, have told us tales of their own children’s behaviour, their own experiences of similar periods, and helped us believe there will be an end to this horrible time.

Just as we were wading through this tough time, last week, as I was walking to pick our son up from school, I saw a single magpie – my one and only superstition – and as I was looking up for another one (because there’s always another one somewhere!) I tripped up a kerb and fell. One of the mums helped get me up, another came over and gave me a hug, and as I got into the school playground I was offered lots of sympathy and baby wipes to wipe the blood off my hands.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted

It turns out I had fractured both my elbow and my wrist in that fall, and when I posted a photo of me in a sling onto my Facebook profile I was inundated with offers of support and help to look after our son, do the shopping, or whatever I needed. The following day two of our son’s friends delivered cards they had made to cheer me up and their mum, a lovely friend of mine, brought me sunflowers which made me smile. Since then she has also driven me to the fracture clinic and waited for me to bring me home because I can’t drive at the moment. Other mums have offered to take our son to school or take him home, people have been so kind and it’s really touching to realise how many people care about you.

So this blog is a reminder to everyone who reads it to always be kind, you never know what battles people are fighting and your kindness may help ease that immeasurably. To quote Aesop “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”. It’s also my small public “thank you” to all of our lovely friends, you’re support means the world to me. I’m finishing now, before I cry!

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