These days it’s quite hard to find something positive in the world. Life is tough. Even 2020 and the onset of covid is enough to fill me with a gentle nostalgia, those seem like fun times compared to right now. But kindness and goodness is not dead and gone, no matter what we read in the media or see on TV. If your mental health is at an all-time low, as many of us are finding, just look around you and you will find small things to make you smile.
Today I saw:
An elderly man ask a young mum struggling with a screaming toddler if she was okay. He wasn’t complaining about the noise. He wasn’t telling her how she should raise her kid. He just asked if she was okay. She said she was, thank you, and told him that her child had just been vaccinated and was crying because of that. But the man’s simple kindness made me happy. Because sometimes we just need someone to ask, right?
And as I was waiting for my other half, a woman–a total stranger–asked me about something I was holding – bird food (as usual!). ‘Is that stuff any good?’ she asked me. ‘Because my sister-in-law bought some and it’s like sawdust. The birds won’t touch it.’
I told her the birds that come to my garden wolf it down like crazy. ‘I’ll get some,’ she said, so I told her where I got mine.
‘It’s a bit pricey, ‘ I warned her.
‘That doesn’t matter,’ she said. ‘My dad’s 96, and watching the birds gives him so much pleasure, it’s worth it just to make him happy.’
Aww. Obviously that small encounter warmed my heart too.
As my mum used to say, good things come in threes–when we got back to our car, the rain had started, and everyone was in a rush to leave. A young dad and very small girl cute in her school uniform, arrived to get into the car next to ours, and the dad said to the little one, ‘We’ve got to get home quick, I’ve put the washing out!’
I smiled. he wasn’t too worried, the child wasn’t being hurried or pushed along, they were just taking life in their stride, calm, relaxed, happy. As I said, small things, nothing earth-shattering, but the mundane minutiae of everyday life. That’s what makes me smile.
Actually there were more than three–the cafe owner where we went stayed back a few more minutes after closing to make a cup of tea for a late customer, an elderly woman. The staff in the shops I visited were cheerful and friendly.
So that was a good day. I had a lovely chatty lunch with my family, the sun shone (briefly) and I saw at first hand some simple things that showed me that there are good people in the world, and not everything is horrible. And I thought I would tell you.
Next week, I promise, it will be more about writing genre fiction.