This week, I was lucky enough to catch up with a few friends I’ve not seen awhile. It has been a rather hectic and challenging month and it was such a treat to reconnect with these people from my different friendship groups.
I’m grateful that I have such lovely people in my life who check in on me. Most recently, a few of us found ourselves reflecting on kindness. Given the difficult start to 2022 (Omicron), all of us have had some tough weeks already. There are some who’ve had COVID make its way into their homes, some going through thesis topic changes, supervisor changes and so on. Yet, in the midst of the hardest days, all of us found that we were all recipients to acts of kindness.
Some of these acts were significant and life-changing but we quickly saw that the ‘largeness’ of the act didn’t matter. Even the small, random acts left us with the same feeling of being seen, being nurtured, being blessed. Why is this?
There seem to be many elements to kindness. There’s gratitude, thoughtfulness and an element of empathy in kindness. Then there’s also some grace required in receiving kindnesses. Have you ever found it hard to receive kindness? It takes some vulnerability to ask for help but maybe some grace too in accepting kindness. My amazing friends have said, ‘please let me do this for you, you would do the same for me’. Why is it sometimes hard and what makes other acts of kindness much easier to receive? Here are some of the kindnesses given and received by my friends this week:
- Bringing in doughnuts for other Ph.D. students on our floor
- Sending a letter to a friend who’s struggling with their thesis
- Letting someone go in front of you in a queue
- Paying for someone else’s meal in a café
- Staying the night to support a friend going through grief
- Helping someone with a flat tire
- Supporting a friend who is feeling lonely
What act of kindness have you experienced or witnessed this week?