It’s hard to find true kindness, compassion and fellowship in the world lately. This bothers me, it really bothers me; but last week something happened that shifted my view on it’s possibility and potential.
Last Friday I went to the live TV recording of Stand Up to Cancer or ‘SU2C’ and it was an amazing experience, despite the fact that I cried (a lot). It was eye-opening, overwhelming and upsetting. I find it heartbreaking to think that even now, with the technology and medicine that we have available to us, we still aren’t able to cure all what cancer throws at us. The show raised an incredible amount of money towards cancer research, that may end up benefitting the likes of you and me in the future. I had a wonderful time with my friend Kate, despite feeling a whirlwind of emotions.
When I left the recording in Westminster, it was super late and in all honesty, I despise London once it’s dark – mainly because I’m a country bumpkin from a super secure and safe background where everyone knows everyone. London is a big old, anti-social, scary place late at night. Anyways, I left the recording studio and started to make the fairly short walk home. I was immediately stopped by two American’s who had several questions about why there was crowds and what was happening inside the building; blah, blah, blah. They knew all about the SU2C organisation and fundraising, as it’s the same as in the US. Like me, they too were overwhelmed by the amount raised this year towards the cause.
Growing up, I was told not to speak to strangers – of course. So no doubt I’m always dubious when people randomly approach me in the street, let alone at gone midnight on Friday. But these two, an elderly man and a middle-aged women from Virginia, were just genuinely nice people. They were visiting London to witness with their own eyes, Big Ben chiming. Something that I take for granted every-single-day.
It’s rare to come across those who just want to chat and get to know you as you ponder along the street.They were thankful that I found the time to stop and speak the them, in fact the first person since they arrive in London the week prior. But they had many questions about London, my experiences in London, the TV show I’d been to see, UK politics (they called Prime Ministers Questions, a comedy show that was utterly bizarre – we then joked about Trump, which I add, isn’t a laughing matter), the weather and ‘Will & Kate’s Wedding Breakfast’. All things British, of course. They informed me that moving to LA (despite the constant sunshine) would be terrible idea; as it’s only warm because of the smog and that instead I should choose Virginia to experience all four seasons and a pleasant overall friendly, but not too social, atmosphere.
They were ever-so kind, and after chatting to them overlooking Big Ben for over 45 minutes, we hugged and parted ways. Something that is otherwise unthinkable when it comes to strangers nowadays.
Throw kindness round like confetti
It was nice to just be sociable for a minute or two in the city. For me, socialising and being kind is something that is at times troubling about London; and whilst I completely understand, everyone has their own agenda and lives to be getting on with, it’s a shame that not even the bus drivers or those behind supermarket checkouts say ‘hello’. What’s the harm in making someone’s day by wishing them well or smiling?
I think it’s true that you absolutely should throw kindness around like confetti at every opportunity that you get throughout your day. Be inquisitive and be kind.
My day was made on Friday; not only by attending the SU2C recording but also through meeting two random strangers. I will never forget the day that I stood on Parliament Street corner, talking to two people from other side of the world about Boris Johnson, Stonehenge and dinner at the Hard Rock Café.