Warming hearts - my kindness story
Esther shares her story of kindness given and received this Mental Health Awareness Week.
It was another ordinary day when I had the idea to spread extra kindness among my friends. I sent them unusual messages to begin my mission without revealing what I had planned. This was all inspired by my teachers, who have been really nice to me in the past, always providing kind remarks and showing they care.
With the current circumstances around COVID 19, I noticed a different atmosphere among peers, students not as motivated as before, with their sense of vigour to conquer the annual exams seemingly diminished.
As such, I decided that a surprise care package would be great to uplift the mood! After all, as Barbara de Angelis puts it, “Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the ones who receive them, and they bless you, the giver.” Spreading kindness is a two-way street, and a win-win for both! With that as my motivation, I began my work, and while finding inspiration for the card designs, I could not help but wonder how my friends would react to such a surprise gift.
During the process of putting the packs together, I came across something a special book I had long cherished. It has sentimental value as it celebrates the people I have met and known, and whose kind words have helped me come a long way to be who I am today. As I pored over this book, I realised the different sides of me that people saw, or liked. As I was reading through word by word, line by line, paragraph by paragraph, I saw how much friends had come to love me, no matter how long I have known them - and that was very heartwarming. Tears rolled down my and I just felt so appreciated. I wanted to give my friends the same gift.
After I had finally created the cards, I moved on to the personalised care packages. First, I wrote a list of items that people would find useful, such as pens with quotes to cheer them up, sweets to energise them when they study, as well as a notebook that they could either use for academic purposes, or just to write their emotions. Of course, food had to be part of the package! As an advocate of healthier lifestyles, I put in a healthy selection of biscuits, as well as my favourite caramelised biscuits! I also included some extra surprises such as sheet face masks, photo books, or eyeshadow, depending on the person and their preferences.
Next, I had to work out the different timings to meet up with each friend at a social distance.
The day finally arrived, and my heart was pounding. I handed over the first surprise package, and her reaction was priceless! We laughed as my friend told me she thought I was asking her to study together and was not at all expecting anything like this. Both smiling, I handed my cherished book to her. She started to pen down what she'd like to say to me and the cycle of kindness was continued; this process was repeated as I delivered the rest of my care packages.
The nights I stayed up to do this were worth it. It was an amazing experience and I will always remember it.
I hope that this inspires you to be proactive in your community, or group of friends. Just like a ripple, you never know how much your kindness could transform into something more impactful than you could have imagined.
Esther is studying the BSc Accounting and Finance via distance learning in Singapore.