World Kindness Day is an annual reminder that humanity is not dead. It's a day that unabashedly shines the light on all the good things that people do for each other and it's a day to count blessings and pass it on.
Today, I see all the ways that kindness made my life better than I'd imagined it would be.
When you move to a country you've never been to before, with no money and no friends or family, you brace yourself for the harshness of the real world. I was brought up believing that the only people that would do good for you are family so naturally, I thought life would be hell without them. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Kindness has been the driving force in my life and I wouldn't be where I am today without all the kind people in my life. From the safe-house I call home to my place of work, kindness is the foundation of all aspects of my life.
The safe-house I live in is a point of refuge for women like me who have been trafficked and was made with the intention of providing help and safety. With that in mind, most expenses and essentials are taken care of without the ask for anything in return. And while I never thought that complete strangers (most of whom I've never met) would treat me better than my own parents, I have come to realize that that this is a huge act of generosity by many people I can't even name. This is kindness.
Before I ran away, I also prepared myself to be worked to the bone by a boss that didn't care about me. I thought that was the case for most people who worked entry level jobs. I braced myself for the fact that I would absolutely hate my job until I graduated at which point, my credentials would land me a better job that would make the pain of working worth it. Again, I was wrong.
I never would have believed it if someone told me that I would be working at a place that also puts my trauma in consideration.
A place where I would be treated with kindness by a manager who actually cares. Being allowed to take days off to better my mental health, having the space to learn and grow, and feeling seen and heard is what kindness looks like here at work. It's kind initiatives like that that helped me decide what I want my career to be and to become my best self.
The world I was preparing myself for is far from the world I now live in.
I find kindness where I live, where I work and where I go to school. It's the one detail that makes all the difference. I could have had a much harder time here with no skills and no family, but with kindness, every aspect of my life is much better than what I have hoped for. With kindness, the most unbearable harsh realities become bearable. I know that I will add a bit of kindness in everything I do, because you never know how actions based on kindness could butterfly effect onto people when they least expect it.
This makes the real world not as scary simply because it's filled with people that add kindness with what they do.