The most memorable act of kindness I have been involved in as a giver was around 3 years ago when I gave one of my adult students a red scarf that my mum had knitted. I was teaching a TAFE class during winter and every Tuesday I would arrive wearing a different coloured knitted scarf. One of my students, Sylvia, a woman in her 50s, said to me at every class “I love your scarf, can I have it?” Every single lesson. Strange thing to say. At the end of the course, I decided to give her a scarf. My mum had knitted two identical red scarves for both my daughters. They didn’t wear the scarves. I wore one scarf and the other was in the cupboard unused. I asked my daughter if she minded if I gave one of the scarves away and she said “no go ahead”.
On the very last day of our course, I arrived in class wearing the bright red knitted scarf around my neck. Sylvia, right on cue said “I love your scarf, can I have it?” and I said “yes you can! You can have this exact scarf, brand new just for you”. She nearly fell off her chair and I was over the moon at her reaction. She put the scarf on and we wore matching scarves for the rest of that lesson. She told everyone on campus about it and my Head Teacher commented how happy Sylvia was with her gift.
It doesn’t take a lot of money to make people feel valued. Showing them that you know them, that you appreciate them, that they matter to you, is always more memorable and rewarding than traditional gifts which are devoid of meaning. I work as a life and health coach and one of the biggest difficulties for people is the feeling that they are not valued by those who know and love them. Often it’s strangers who can provide a real self-esteem boost when loved ones are unable to do so. I believe that small but heartfelt acts of random kindness can have long-lasting positive effects on people, which is why I look for opportunities to be kind as often as possible. – Dee 😛
UPDATE: Dee shared this post on her facebook page and was delighted to be reunited with Sylvia who happened to read it. She messaged me to let me know how excited she was to connect with her again. This is the message Sylvia left on the post.
And I am the receiver of that lovely red scarf. I still have it and wear it as it is the only scarf that I own. The shock I felt when she handed me that scarf in the classroom was overwhelming as it was so unexpected. Some people might think “well it was only a scarf, it’s not like you got a car or something’ but the simplicity of the act of giving something that someone else really likes far transcends any monetary value. This was given from Dee’s heart to someone who really liked being in her class and loved whatever scarf she was wearing at the time. It was a gift, not just a present, and I thank you Dee. – Sylvia ❤