Positivity Project- Record 3 things I’m grateful for and 1 inspiring quote everyday for 7 days to promote a happier, more positive life.
Inspiring Quote: “Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.”
Three Things I’m grateful for:
1. Country sky at night- millions and millions of tiny dancing lights on the blackest canvas
2. Smores around the campfire
3. Friends that treat me like family
I should be long in bed but I am fresh off a weekend that fed my soul a little and I wanted to write about it before I launch into a busy week. This weekend I headed north to spend time with a family my parents and I met camping about 24 years ago. They’ve known me about as long as I’ve been me and I spent my childhood either running after the three girls or being carted around by them. They now have children and husbands of their own, live in different cities (one out of province) and come together only intermittently.
On Saturday I sat at a table amongst the girls. Their mom was on the end and we were all laughing and joking and playing bingo. One man asked their mom if we were all her girls. She smiled and looked down the table. “Well those three are” she said, pointing to her daughters. “She’s more like my half daughter but she’s definitely one of the family” she explained, pointing to me. Later when they invited me over for dinner and I asked if they were sure it was okay that I crash the family affair they all laughed. Their mom bumped my arm and leaned in, “You’re always welcome here. You’re one of us you know” she told me.
I’ve spent all my time and effort lately trying to belong somewhere. It sounds crazy but I’ve been feeling, in some ways, like I don’t belong in my own life. It’s part of the reason I started the Positivity Project. I wanted to remind myself of all the ways I am lucky and loved and fortunate in my own world. I think I’ve been too easily forgetting about the good bits. This weekend I laughed until I cried, felt so much love I thought in moments my heart might burst, and remembered what that sense of belonging is like. I wanted to write it all down before I let any more of the good little bits slip through the cracks. Life is too short to let that keep happening.
This morning I was riding the subway into work as per my usual. I had my headphones in and my eyes were glued to the pages of a book for most of the journey; Toronto style. Nearing my stop, I dog-eared my page and gathered my stuff to prepare to get off. Just as I did so I watched a girl sitting across from me extend a long stick into its full position and I realized she was visually impaired.
She was younger than I am and travelling alone to one of the busiest parts of Toronto. I watched her make her way across the moving subway to the door. She used her long red stick to find her way, but as she approached the door and navigated through the throng of people she used her hands to feel her way. She approached the doorway and a teenage boy was seated just next to it with his skateboard propped up in his lap. She grabbed the board, then her hand clutched and spun a wheel as she tried to sort out what she’d encountered. The boy watched quietly as she did so. I watched as he hesitated, unsure of what to do.
Then, something beautiful happened. He reached up and gently took her by the wrist and placed her hand on the subway bar so that she could anchor herself near the door just as we squealed to a stop. They didn’t speak. She smiled in appreciation and when the subway came to a stop and the doors flew open, she walked through them in a sea of bodies in a rush to get everywhere.
I don’t know if anyone else witnessed it and it was over in such an instant that momentarily I wondered what it was I’d actually seen.
Raw human kindness.
One person helping another person out in a compassionate way not to gain recognition for his efforts but to be kind. That’s the way I saw it. The shaggy-haired, baggy clothed teenager had reached out figuratively and literally and unquestioningly the girl without sight trusted his direction and let herself be guided. I stared at him for a minute. He looked no different than anyone else sitting in that little car but he’d done something I bet many others would have veered away from entirely. He reached out.
I wonder how many of us would unflinchingly trust the actions of someone like the shaggy haired guy? I wonder if I’d have the guts to lay my hands on a complete stranger and guide them the way he had?
In the midst of life’s complications and the shade of every nuance that alter’s perception and sometimes by extension the direction of this journey we’re on, there is so much beauty around the light of human kindness. There is so much to be gained from being in this together.