Kindness is contagious – Be a carrier #NationalKindnessDay

When my boys were small we would start each day sitting at around the kitchen table and over breakfast we would each list 3 things we were grateful for. We also kept a notebook and after school we would discuss as a family ways in which we had been kind and jot them down. On days where they were feeling low, too much homework, squabbles with friends, lost PE kits, we would read back through the book and would feel uplifted. Of course true acts of kindness aren’t contrived, and shouldn’t be carried out in the hope of ‘getting something back.’ But after a while of consciously practicing kindness and gratitude it becomes second nature and my children have grown to be compassionate, appreciative and positive.

Never underestimate the transformation a simple act of kindness can have on someone’s day. When was the last time you smiled at a stranger? Let someone go in the queue in front of you? Praised good service?

Studies have shown people who mindfully practice kindness and gratitude have improved mental and physical health, stronger immune systems, reduced stress and depression, are happier and cope better with difficult situations.

In honour of National Kindness Day, The Diana Award are inviting people to carry out a random act of kindness today and share it on their website. Will you take part?

 

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Flash Fiction – SoCS – Where would the world be?

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‘You are good,’ said Father Brian admiring the patchwork of colour Janet had created. Containers of sweet peas, peonies and lavender bought a warmth to the cool, dark church. ‘I wish more people were like you. The world would be a better place.’

‘I do my best,’ blushed Janet.’‘See you tomorrow Father.’

Janet turned into the High Street towards home. The sound of crying sliced through her thoughts. About 40 yards ahead of her was a lone girl of around 6, her face as pink as her torn dress. Long blonde hair hung in matted clumps around her face which was sodden with tears. Blood oozed down her leg from a cut knee, staining her white ankle sock crimson.

Janet pretended to search in her bag for something as she crossed the street. It wouldn’t do to approach a child nowadays. You could be accused of anything. Anyway, she was certain the mother would turn up soon.

Outside the chemist a man hunkered down wrapped in a grimy blanket and sheets of sorrow. His face dark with dirt and loss. A shabby cap was placed in front of him, as he tried to collect loose change and hope from a world that had turned its back long ago. Avoiding eye contact Janet stepped over his dreams of a hot dinner. What was the world coming to begging in the streets? This was England for heavens sake!

At the crossroads the Big Issue seller smiled at Janet. ‘A magazine to help the homeless?’ he proffered. Janet didn’t break her stride, her gaze fixed firmly on a spot in the distance as she bustled ahead.

Turning right into Brown Street Janet was relieved to be home. As she turned her door key she could hear the fumbling of her neighbour unlocking her door.  Stepping over her threshold Janet slammed the door behind her. Old Mrs Davies always wanted a chat. ‘It’s not my problem her husband has died and her children don’t visit’, thought Janet. ‘Besides, my programme starts in 10 minutes.’

The shrill sound of the telephone shattered the silence.

‘Hello,’

‘Hello Janet. I’ve been trying you all afternoon.’

Hello Doris. It was my afternoon for volunteering at the church, doing the flowers for the service tomorrow.’

‘You are such a good person Janet. Always thinking of others.’

‘I know. But where would the world be if we didn’t all do our bit?’

 

 

Written for SoCS. This weeks prompt is ‘end the post with a question and use an exclamation mark somewhere.’ I have not written fiction for this challenge before as was hesitant to stick to the rules of posting without editing.  Kindness is very much on my mind today so the above is my unedited story. (which I guess is the point of Streams of Consciousness)! 

 

‘Where would the world be if we didn’t all do our bit?’