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‘Unexpected kindness: Powerful and inexpensive ways of changing a person’s life’

[May 11, 2021: Sue Leighton]

I’ve been thinking about my friend, Kathryn. She lived in the house next door to me, only for a short time as she was caring for her elderly mum most of the day and eventually she moved in with her. Even though we only spoke occasionally, we ‘connected’ and have kept in touch.

Recently she messaged me to ask if she could visit. She arrived around about 11:45am (this time without her mother in tow). I had prepared some mini pies, vegetable spring rolls and a dipping sauce, in case she hadn’t had lunch, and a cup of tea. She arrived bringing with her a punnet of strawberries and a caramel-filled Easter egg. (She never visits without bringing something.)

We talked for ages, and before we knew it, it was almost 4pm! Neither of us could believe the time had passed.


Before she left she asked for the recipe for the dipping sauce, which I gave her (and I’ll give to you too — a tablespoon of tomato sauce, a tablespoon of barbecue sauce and a splash of Ketjap Manis soy sauce, mixed together). I also gave her a copy of my memoir The Years of My Life, as I thought she’d appreciate the read.

After she’d gone home I thought about her kindness towards me. There are members of my own family who are not as thoughtful. It’s hard not to reflect on how significant such acts of kindness can be to another person. A simple act of kindness can change a person’s day.

I try to be kind to others. Like Kathryn, I like to give, whether it be food that I’ve cooked or even a pot plant that I’ve struck. The gesture makes me feel good because the recipient has appreciated it.


We are bombarded daily with information about coronavirus — the vaccines, infection rates and death toll. We hear about deaths on our roads, domestic violence and murders. There is little good news. I have almost stopped listening to it as it depresses me so much. I worry about the way our media sensationalises things and the fear-mongering that spreads through our communities. I would rather go and eat worms!

Kindness is caring about others and doing things to help make their lives better. When I think about the kindness that has made it’s way to me, there is an overwhelming feeling of joy. It highlights that I have made a connection to another person and that the relationship we have is meaningful and valued. How I wish our world had more stories of kindness.


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Tags: #Good_News, #Kindness, #The_Brighter_Side_of_News


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