One cup of tea and an act of kindness

You probably don’t know that tomorrow is World Kindness Day. It isn’t the sort of thing that gets much media coverage and I doubt it would be trending on social media. But it is a day when we are all being encouraged to do some random acts of kindness, or help out our fellow human beings in some way.  (If you want to find out more check it out here https://randomactsofkindness.org/world-kindness-day )

Really thought, we shouldn’t need a special day to do good things for other people. It should be part of our DNA and something that we do without having to think about it. However, that is a long way off and I will have to accept we need World Kindness Day to try to encourage people to think about their actions.

This week a police officer took a call for help from an elderly couple. He attended and found they were lonely and wanted help so they didn’t feel so isolated. The PC Stu Ockwell made a cup of tea and spend a bit of time with them. It is the sort of thing that police officers and other public sector workers are doing every day. But this story, originally put out as a tweet, suddenly attracted international media interest. Details can be seen on the local TV report:

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2015-11-11/police-officer-hailed-hero-for-checking-in-on-lonely-couple/

I agree with the people who felt it was a lovely heart-warming story, it is. I agree with people, that it highlights what the police do that isn’t arresting criminals but is still valuable and valued by communities. I also agree that such stories are an antidote to the negative issues and stories that often fill news bulletins.

But there is one thing that concerns me. This should not be seen as so unusual. It is time that we all need to step up and play a more active part in our communities. If the lovely couple had been my neighbours I would have felt ashamed that I couldn’t have offered them more help. I spend a lot of time away from my neighbourhood working, seeing my horse or enjoying myself. So, I asked myself, do I really know who my neighbours are and would they be able to call on me for help?

Earlier this year my 85-year-old neighbour died and I was one of only a dozen people who attended the funeral. Over the past 20 years I had chatted many times, my partner had changed lightbulbs on Christmas morning, and I had phone to sort out a problem with her phone line. Simple things but things I know she appreciated. Living on her own she knew we would always be there to help. Now the house is empty and I am waiting to meet the new neighbours but I often think of Dorothy.

Tomorrow on World Kindness Day I will be going out of my way to make sure I leave a positive impression and can make someone smile. I hope that I can help my new neighbours in the way we were there for Dorothy, and I know I will be looking at how I can do more to support my community. What will you do?

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