Today is World Kindness Day 2020. Unfortunately much of my writing is about negative experiences, that’s just my life. Today is about kindness and I want to share a positive experience to reflect that. An experience that made me believe not all bad is bad, and there is still hope for good.
Secondary school (or high school) was difficult; I spent a lot of time alone, especially when I started. As a socially anxious and quiet person, I kept to myself in school. I was more comfortable that way. Within the first week the bullying had already begun, I knew it would so I wasn’t surprised. A lot of the time I was able to ignore it, but there were certain ones that crossed the line. There were two girls in my house group who bullied me to the extent it caused me to become angry. It was a side of me no one in school had witnessed. Going to the toilets took so much courage because that’s where these girls would often catch me. The day I finally lost it they had taken my bag; I was truly scared and I think the fear came out as anger.
One day (a few months later) my house group lead came to me and said we needed to talk. “Your peers have raised concerns about your well-being. You are not eating lunch, are you okay? Is there anything you want to talk about?” I was confused and surprised. Who would notice I had been avoiding lunch? Why would they raise a concern? It didn’t make sense. I felt uncomfortable so despite what the teacher said, I continued to skip lunch. The following week the two girls approached me during lunch time; they asked why I wasn’t eating.
Right away I realised that it was them; they had raised those concerns but I still couldn’t figure out why. I replied I didn’t feel like eating. They told me they were worried because it seemed like I was losing weight. The girls then apologised for their past behaviours, and offered help if there was anything I needed. Honestly in that moment I couldn’t grasp any of this was real. Truth is it was very real; the two girls often checked in with me. If I was sitting alone they would ask me how I am and talk for a bit, or if I needed anything. On some days they would secretly offer me sweets/snacks (it was not allowed in school). I appreciated our “unusual” friendship.
They would stand up for me against other bullies, and as a result of becoming friends with them my relationship with other classmates also improved. Although we’re no longer in contact, my last two years in school were positive experiences. For that I am grateful. I am not sure what exactly ‘changed’ but I appreciate the warmth, care, and compassion the girls eventually gave to me — their kindness helped me so much.
Please, be kind. And mean it. I promise you it makes a positive difference.