Today I did one of the most stressful things I believe anyone is ever likely to do in their lifetime.
I moved house.
Let me start by uttering the phrase, “never again”. However, it wasn’t a total nightmare of a day, thanks to a random act of kindness that I happened to be on the receiving end of during the big move.
Bored of waiting outside of my new house, waiting for the previous owners to pack the rest of their stuff some hours after we’d packed up and left our own old property, I wandered off around our new estate to clear my head and calm my nerves.
I didn’t want to wander too far, and I was just happy to be far away enough from the chaos for a short while, so I sat myself down on a small wall outside of what would be my new local corner shop. Sat there alone, I must have looked like I was loitering, and so it was no real surprise when the shopkeeper came outside to have a look around.
I got defensive straight away and jumped up to introduce myself and to do my best to convince this nice man that I wasn’t casing the joint! I needn’t have worried, because the shopkeeper, Ilyas, hadn’t come out to shout at me or quiz me, but to say hello and introduce himself! I told Ilyas that my children and I were just waiting to move in on the next road. He asked if I might want something from the shop while I waited. I didn’t have my wallet with me and so I told Ilyas that I hadn’t come to buy anything but was instead just killing time. Ilyas turned without a word and re-entered his shop, emerging again just moments later with an ice cold can of Coke and a chocolate bar!
Ilyas handed me the treats and told me that it was a stressful day and it looked like I could do with the energy boost. He also added that it was a pleasure for him to help out his new neighbour in gifting me the goodies. I can’t tell you how lovely both the gesture of the gift and the accompanying sentiment were to receive and hear. This interaction really lifted my spirits and turned my day around.
Today I moved house, but instead of wallowing in the stress, reliving the arguments and sobbing over broken/misplaced/lost belongings, I’m smiling because an act of kindness in my day had the power to change negative into positive and remind me that the smallest acts can have the biggest impacts – long after they’ve even happened.
I wish that more people could enjoy such a nice feeling, and so this is all the inspiration I now need to pay it forward and to go and spread acts of kindness myself – and I’ll be starting with our local shopkeeper.