As all of you know, life is not always a smooth, serene sea of peace and happiness. For many of us, more often than not, it’s lonely, and difficult, and sometimes it can even feel like things are never going to get better, no matter what. Despite this fact, many people to this day still choose to embrace conflict and dispute over love and compassion, which in turn, just creates more suffering and unhappiness.
Imagine how much more pleasant the world would be, if we were all to be just a little more kind, a little more understanding towards one another. Even the smallest acts of kindness can make someone’s day – week, month, even – think back to a time when you weren’t in the best place, when things weren’t quite going your way, and think of something that someone said or did that made you feel just that little bit better, and focus on how it made you feel. Now, imagine giving someone else the blessing of that feeling. Kindness is completely transmissible – meaning it’s practically contagious; even the littlest acts of kindness have the power to create a lasting wave of hope that flows through hundreds of people. Below, I’ve come up with a list of 6 ways that you can be kind today (or any day, as a matter of fact) so that you can create your own wave of hope throughout those you care about…
- Be a good friend – a simple ‘how are you?’ every now and then can really make a difference, especially when someone’s feeling down and needs to talk to someone. You could be that someone – and it usually works both ways, so it’s good to maintain that mutual friendship were you can both talk to one another.
- Make someone a cup of tea or coffee – ‘do you want a cup of tea (or coffee)’; I know my face always lights up when I hear those words. It might be a small gesture, but that small gesture can be enough to remind someone that they matter, plus, who doesn’t love tea? (Weirdos!)
- Compliment somebody – This one can go a really long way to increasing somebody’s self love and confidence. Whether it be ‘your hair looks nice,’ ‘you have beautiful eyes’ or ‘I love your outfit’ it’s sure to enchant their face with a beaming smile.
- Hug somebody – Not only is it a great way to show somebody that you care, hugging also triggers a release in Oxycontin, which causes a drop stress hormones and even lowers the heart rate, so you could say that hugging is a natural remedy for stress and anxiety. Hugs all around!
- Make time for people – Watch a film, grab coffee, or just sit and talk with someone. Even just an hour of spending time with somebody else will more than likely lift their mood – and (hopefully) yours too!
- Be forgiving – Anger, betrayal, fear – all of these things can potentially eat us up from the inside out if we don’t get them under control. Perhaps you’ve been let down by someone, perhaps they betrayed you in a way you never thought they would, but by holding on to all of these painful feelings, you’re getting hurt even more. Forgiveness is the natural healing remedy to all of the above, so (although it will take time, as everything worth it in life does) forgive and eventually, let go, so that you (and all other parties) can finally heal and move on.
These are just a few small ways that you can be kind to someone today, but remember -more often than not, it’s the small things in life that make a difference.
Best wishes, and be kind, always
I’m glad to announce that my short story ‘The Turtledove’ will soon be available to listen to on Audible, narrated by the fantastic Roland Harrad.
For those of you who don’t know, ‘the Turtledove’ is a short fiction story about the life of Edgar Carlisle; a middle aged man suffering from moderate stage Alzheimer’s disease – a fragile topic close to many of our hearts. Stay updated for more information.
When I was 7 years old, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied with two words; two words that perhaps on some unfathomable, subconscious level would determine my fate for the rest of my life. Ten years later, here I am; a goofy, English writer, living to make dreams come true, in the form of fine literature. The path to today was not so straight forward, though. It was dark, and winding, and on some days, I thought it would never cease. Ever since I was young, growing up in a world seemingly full of so much pain and suffering, my inevitable dream was to save people; to help those in need.
Throughout my live I’ve aspired to pursue all sorts of professions; from scientist, to doctor, to royal marine. However, as I got older, I came to the realisation that there is another way to save people; perhaps one of the most delicate procedures of all – writing. As the extraordinary Virginia Woolfe once said, ‘books are the mirrors of the soul’, and when I write, I do it not just for myself and for my dreams, but for those in the world that seek solace and hope and characters who are not just entirely unique in every way, but also unequivocally relatable.
‘Depression may rain down on me like a hail of bullets that promises to prevail, fear may even strive to drown me – day in, day out, like the shore of a merciless sea; and perhaps I will always be asunder these dark clouds of pain and sorrow, but I will cry in the rain no more; for I have learnt to dance in it instead – and I will do so for the rest of time. Even better, I know that I won’t be dancing alone.’ – The Book Man of New Orleans
Nelly Sachs, (full name; Leonie Sachs) was born on the 10th December 1891. She grew up in Berlin, Germany, where she studied music and dancing at a young age, and later on began writing poetry. She was educated at home due to her frail health, and although she showed early signs of talent as a dancer, her protective parents didn’t encourage her to pursue a profession, most likely due to the ever rising prejudice in a rapidly growing Nazi -Germany. Therefore, Miss. Sachs grew up as a very sheltered, introverted young woman and never married. As the Nazis took power, she became terribly ridden with fear and horror, to the point where she temporarily lost the ability to speak. She was good friends with Selma Lagerlöf, a Swedish author and teacher, and also the first female writer to win a Nobel Prize (Nobel prize in literature, 1909). It was thanks to her that Nelly and her Mother escaped Nazi Germany. Shortly before her own death, Lagerlöf had intervened with the Swedish royal family to secure Nelly and her Mother’s release from Germany. They managed to escape on the last flight from Nazi Germany to Sweden, just a week before Sachs was scheduled to report to a concentration camp.
Sachs and her Mother settled in Sweden and she claimed Swedish citizenship in 1952. However, after her Mother’s death, Sachs suffered several nervous breakdowns characterised by hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions of persecution by Nazis. She spent a number of years in a mental institution, where she continued writing, even while she was hospitalised. Eventually, Sachs recovered sufficiently enough to live on her own, although her mental health would always be fragile. Her worst breakdown was ostensibly triggered when she heard German speech during a trip to Switzerland to accept a literary prize. However, she maintained a forgiving attitude toward a younger generation of Germans, and corresponded with many German-speaking writers of the post-war period. Her experiences resulting from the rise of the Nazis in World War II Europe had transformed her into a poignant spokesperson for the grief and yearnings of her fellow Jews.
“World, they have taken the small children like butterflies and thrown them, beating their wings, into the fire–”
Nelly won a Nobel Prize Award for Literature in 1966, and died on the 12th May, 1970.