The Kindness of Others

I live in a city where there are a large amount of expatriates.  We are talking about 2,937,675 expats and the total population is 3,192,275.  That amount doesn’t even compute in my head.  With that, there are over 200 different nationalities who co-exist, even with the vast cultures and way of doing things.

There are days where I personally find it a challenge to live in the same city, particularly when it comes to driving in traffic.  We all have to get stuck in the same traffic, but for some royal reason there are those who think they’re entitled and bully others on the road.  Let me just say, I do not let myself get bullied.  I have kids and have to show them right from wrong and how to stand up for themselves.  Most of the time, it’s me using my car horn to the fullest. Pretty macho!

After 7 years in this particular city, I was just about to give up all hope.  Hope for just that little common decency among people. Then it happened.  Two very small, probably very insignificant to others, acts of kindness and awareness of others around them.

The other day, a lovely lady in the cue at the pharmacy said the right thing at the right time.  It’s been my 6th trip to the Dr and pharmacy in 1 month with sick family members.  We all know how stressful it can be especially with sick children.  She took the time to hear my rant for that day and said: “Don’t worry dear, the kids will get better and you would have forgotten about these tough times by next month”. 
That just made feel like I’m not alone and we all have the same struggles and it will be OK!

The second, act in my opinion, is probably the best one.  A driver cut me off in traffic, but it was not intentional.  He realised his mistake and waved at me to apologise.  That small wave made me smile and forgive.

At the end of the day I always see the negative and really get my blood pressure high.  However, these two acts have reminded me to see more good and that not all is bad.  Try to spot the little things in a manic city.  You will feel less stressed. Maybe your wave or kind words could make just that little difference in someone else’s day.

by Odette van Jaarsveld

I am a Mom to an independent, beautiful little girl and a strong, cuddly baby boy. I also have the privilege to be a wife to a very intelligent, handsome man. My life is filled with so much love, joy and very busy days....sometimes nights too.

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