Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Thoughts on...26 Acts of Kindness

For the New Year I wanted to start a weekly feature, so one thing I am trying out is a "My Thoughts on..." Monday.
So that I can talk about random things and make it seem legit.

(Yes, I am aware it is Wednesday, not Monday. More on that in a moment.)

So, here we go.
The Newtown, CT tragedy really shook me (and pretty much everyone) for awhile. It still is. That kind of grief doesn't really subside. Time passes, people accept it as a reality, but you don't forget.

When that kind of senseless, unbearable tragedy happens, it's easy to approach it with anger and finger-pointing. 
But one of my favorite responses to the Newtown tragedy was Ann Curry's 26 Acts of Kindness campaign.

If you haven't heard of it, it started on Twitter as a way for people to tweet about random acts of kindness they perform in honor of the lives lost in the Newtown shooting.

After that happened, people wanted to get involved in some way, by doing anything, just to feel like somehow they had helped alleviate the pain. What better way to do that than by channeling the sadness and confusion into something heartfelt and positive?

I really wanted to get involved somehow. Few things in this world feel more rewarding to me than doing something meaningful for someone else, even if they have nothing to offer me.
That sort of kindness has oodles of benefits for everyone involved.

That brings me to the weekend I had. I spent it in the hospital. Saturday through Monday. My New Year's plans were cancelled, I thought I was having a stroke, I underwent a crap ton of tests...but luckily for me, I left with a clean bill of health.

While I was there, I was lucky enough to have my dad and stepmom drive 5 hours, my boyfriend travel 4 hours, and lots of other family and friends spend large chunks of time with me in a hospital room. It was truly a blessing and I felt very loved.

But the part that really got to me was my hospital roommate, a woman I will call Jill. Despite all the loud people and the antics happening the entire time I was there, Jill was an excellent sport. She told me she felt like she was part of the family while they were there, and that while she was happy I was able to head home healthy, she was sad to see us all leave.

I thought about her the night I went home. I would be driving back to school with Tom the next day, and it didn't feel right to just leave without doing something for her. Jill had to stay in the hospital for about another week to have surgery.

So even though it delayed our ETA by a lot, Tom and I stopped off at Target to get Jill some fuzzy socks, lotion and a card, and my grandma chipped in some holiday towels and an ornament. Then we took it to the hospital to the room I'd just left the night before.

It wasn't a grand, sweeping gesture, but it felt so good to surprise Jill with a visit before her surgery and give her something to let her know what a joy it had been to meet her. She was grateful and gracious for everything, and so positive and upbeat the entire time even though she wasn't feeling well.

Seeing the way my family and friends spoke to her and cheered her up made me so proud to be a part of that whole group, and she really helped me see that.

So here's to Jill for the camaraderie during a stressful time, and for the fresh perspective. My thoughts are with her now as she recovers from her surgery and gets back to her happy self.

And to all of you...a very happy new year!

1 comment:

  1. Love this! It always seems that when we serve others, that we feel more rewarded then them. Funny how that works :)


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