“Kindness means kindness”, from the mouths of babes, I read in a blog earlier. It is certain that kindness comes in many forms.
Sunday morning, I went for a run to clear my head whilst my fifteen-year-old daughter went running with her club. I was being kind to myself. I’d like to be able to run another marathon after finishing Manchester last year. I still can’t believe I did this. If it weren’t for the kindness of a good friend, who I ran with, I may not have done so. She encouraged me and motivated me to stick with the early morning runs on a Sunday, when all I wanted to do is stay under the duvet, or crack on with marking or planning for the week ahead. The kindness of giving myself the space to be able to fulfill that goal enabled me to feel a great sense of achievement and pride when I crossed that finish line.
Finishing a project or reaching a goal is always, for me, a positive experience. I didn’t finish the run I intended Sunday, but I would like to think kindness played a role in me doing what I felt morally was ‘right’. After about three and a half miles, I reached a field where a group of children from my daughter’s club were training with three adult coaches, who were also my friends. As I approached, I could see something was amiss.
Two of the coaches were separated from the group and stood next to another woman on a bench under a large tree. Carl, not his real name, revealed that the woman had fallen, was intoxicated and suicidal. He and the eldest child took the group of runners back to their parents and I stayed with the other two coaches to make sure the woman who had fallen received the care she needed. I rang an ambulance and we kept her talking. We found out that she was quite traumatised but we made sure she went to hospital to receive the care she needed. We were kind.
That experience on Sunday and CVID-19 have made me reflect upon the past year, for a variety of reasons, both professional and personal. Kindness has played a role in much of this. Although, it is fair to say that in putting kindness first, there has been a fair share of cruelty too. I intend to emerge stronger and kinder.