Three days ago marked the end of Random Acts of Kindness Week, an event that runs annually from February 11th to 17th. RAK week is sponsored by the foundation of the same name which, according to their website (http://www.randomactsofkindness.org), “is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.”
Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of RAK week until I did a little casual Googling and happened to come across this article in the New York Times entitled ‘A Random Gift of Coffee Makes My Day’ by Ann Carrns, which you can read here: http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/a-random-gift-of-coffee-makes-my-day/?smid=fb-share
As you’re reading this you may be wondering where the connection to mental health awareness lies. I feel the need to bring this to your attention because I truly believe a little act of kindness, especially unexpected, is a breath of fresh air in a world where stresses, anxieties, and illnesses tend to oppress and choke. Your whole day can be turned around from something as simple as sharing a smile to having your cup of Joe paid for by a stranger with no hidden agendas.
And, unexpectedly, a stranger of my own sent me a gift and a note that had me smiling and fostered a sense of encouragement that there are some really good people left out there.
A short while ago I was feeling exceptionally low. I was just recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis, and to make a pea a plant, I got the news around my late mother’s birthday. Broke as a joke, I figured a little internet window shopping might be the next best thing to an actual shopping spree. I needed a little elegant pick-me-up. My mother and I shared a love of handbags and a passion for maintaining the beauty and integrity of nature, so naturally I found myself typing ‘handbags and accessories’ into my search engine. In my search, I came across an accessories designer, Susan Nichole, with exceptional talent and consideration for the world around us. Her bags are so uniquely gorgeous – and animal friendly to boot! With my recent disability, I’ve been out of work, and my income remains pretty nonexistent. So, while I can’t (as of now!) squeeze a beautiful new handbag into my budget, I just had to let Ms. Nichole know that I appreciated her work, especially since it hit such a profound chord in my heart, stitching the two loves my mom and I had shared into a smart little bag.
Then, quite unawares, my grandfather woke me up one morning shortly thereafter. As I reluctantly peeked out from the nest of my bed and the comfort of my two fat Pomeranians, feeling like pooh emotionally, mentally, and physically as I so often do nowadays, he handed me a package. Inside was a heartfelt note and a beautiful gift from Ms. Nichole that sent me smiling and up out of bed. I show off my cute and unique little blue wallet to everyone I can:
Please visit Susan Nichole’s website at http://susannichole.com/. You won’t be disappointed and if you do happen to find your perfect pocketbook purchase, you’ll feel salubriously sanguine with a cute little animal-friendly arm candy.
And that’s my story of a random act of kindness bestowed upon me by a complete stranger. And really, it made me forget my troubles for a little while – that made all the difference in my day =).