THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

My partner and I always have a sit down leisurely breakfast, it’s that time of the day when both of us are in a philosophical mood, and have long conversations. The conversation this New Year’s Day morning centred on kindness, and the fact that when all is said and done most humans have actually have got kind hearts.  This came about because of two situations in the last two days.

The first was a program we watched on TV about an organisation to help special needs people, called ‘Enable Ireland’, where expert teams endeavour to work with individuals and their families, from childhood to adulthood, planning for each life stage.  They have centers in 40 locations in Ireland.  Anyway, this TV program showed the story of one of these centers which needed a facelift very badly, and it went on to show how people from all over Ireland came to voluntary help make this place real special giving of their time and resources, many business people donated the materials and even the appliances.  It was so very impressive and heartwarming to see the reaction of the recipients of all this work, these special needs people, all young and all trying to do the best with the hand they had been dealt with were so very happy and appreciative with the work done.  It was beautiful to see, and the volunteers themselves felt so nourished by the whole experience, some of the big sturdy, and hard working men were in tears, so touched by the happiness they caused in those young people.  It was very heartwarming to watch this, you see so many of these same or similar situations where people will help people, and very importantly it leads to thinking that humankind, even with all its flaws have got kind hearts, and that the world despite all the horror stories we hear, of war and crime, still is not such a bad place to be.

The second situation took place the night before last.  I had to go to the emergency department of hospital in the big city, this was because of a slight accident which befell me and which the local doctors could do nothing about.  So my partner drove me all the way to the nearest city which is about 80 km away, and this at night.  When we arrived there was a very long queue, this is normal in Ireland.  We were sitting on a chair for several hours (5.5hrs) before I was put on a trolley in a cubicle.  It was another few hours before I got treatment, but meanwhile I had been monitored by nurses and seen a doctor.  What has struck me once again about this whole episode, is how friendly and caring people are around here, the nurses could not have been kinder, the doctors were also very friendly and focused.  But even the people in the waiting room smiled at you and most people talked to each other, though total strangers.  I’m all right since, but I have carried away another assurance that basically human beings are kind, and kindness is such a blessing.

And so I want to start this new year with this thought in my mind, that not only am I planning to take more notice of other people’s kindness, I am also going to try and put it on top of my own planning in awareness and action.

And with this in mind I would like to wish each and every one of you, my new friends and followers, a new year full of blessings and goodness, and kindness.  I look forward to reading many stories in your enjoyable and beautiful blogs.

HAPPY NEWYEAR!

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12 thoughts on “THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

  1. Dear Agnes, I just read your moving words. It is good that you still believe in kindness. Probably the Irish have such a wonderful manner. I hope you are better now and I would like to wish you all the best for the New Year, too, regards Mitza

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  2. I found Irish people to be particularly friendly when I visited Ireland but I do agree that people are intrinsically kind. There might be some distortions due to stress in society, for example, but that doesn’t mean people want to be like that.

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  3. Kindness is dear to my heart. Something simple, like smiling at strangers, may be a small thing, but sometimes a smile can brighten someone’s day (even if just for a moment). So, I try to smile at people in going about my day. It costs nothing, a small effort. And, I like to think that small good things can add up.. if not to a better world, at least some progress towards that goal.

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    1. A wonderful thought Daphne, and actually here in Ireland the people still do greet each other, which is wonderful. I mean here you can safely greet a total stranger, even engage in a little chat, and nobody will think it is odd. A great plus point for the Irish! (I’m talking for rural Ireland.)

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  4. I think one of the first things that really drew me to Vancouver was the way that people nodded at each other as they passed on the street. I had lived in and worked in many other cities across Canada and in the United States, and had indeed found many friendly people in every city I had ever been in, but never had I seen so many people so regularly nod at one another in simple greeting as they passed as I did here in Vancouver. It’s such a simple little thing, and yet it means so much.

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