- Richard Haywood
A simple act of kindness…
I had a minor surgical thing done today. It was really minor too. But I’ve got a phobia about being poked, prodded, touched or examined by doctors. (I was once given a general anaesthetic for an operation and decided halfway through it being given that it was time to leave the hospital. Cue my naked arse poking out of the medical gown while trying to flee with a needle stuck in my hand.)
Anywho, so today I had to lie on this medical bed with a super bright light glaring on my face while a doctor in a mask leaned over me… and I started to get twitchy, you know, like really uncomfortable. The fear was kicking in. Irrational and silly fear, but real to me. The doctor was too close. The lights were too bright and I had to stay very still while needles were pushed in and local anaesthetic was injected. I started swallowing and breathing harder. Tensing up and thinking maybe it was time to leave. It’s weird when that happens as I lose the ability to verbalise my fears and just go very quiet with wide eyes and a clenched jaw, and just at the point when I was ready to bug out, the nurse stepped in my eye-line and held her hand out for me to take while smiling gently.
That was it. Just that. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t need to. She just smiled and took my hand and that single act of kindness was incredible.
I know it’s daft. I’m a grown man, but I was scared you see, and another person took that fear away. It’s like energy I guess. I had bad energy fizzing inside that had no place to go, and I started to feel trapped, but that gentle touch allowed that bad energy to flow out and away.
Does that make sense?
Ah, that doesn’t make sense. I know what I mean.
Sod off, I was a super-brave-soldierman and stayed very still after that.
It’s those acts of kindness that remind me of how good people can be, and how sometimes a simple gesture like a look, or a soft word, or even a touch on the arm can make all the difference. The world about us can be a harsh place sometimes. The winter we’ve had has been bitter and long, and every time we turn the news on we’re being told awful, terrible things are happening. Listening to bad politicians saying bad things and everyone seems to have such strong opinions at the moment too. Trump. Russia. Guns. Crime. Trump. Russia. Guns. Crime. It’s relentless arse-froth is what it is. It’s unkind. I’ve had bad experiences lately too, with people I thought were good friends. We all go through bad times and it’s hard not to let them get you down. That’s normal. It’s living a life.
But then a nice nurse gave me a smile and held my hand and my world, right then at that moment, was just fine.
I guess the point is, don’t underestimate how impactive a simple act of kindness can be. Smile at your neighbour or the dude passing you on the street. Give way at the junction. Step back in the queue. Tell the truth and be kind about it. Pass a compliment. Say thank you at the check-out and look at the cashier when you say it.
Small things. Simple things. I think it’s worth it.
That nice nurse will never read this, and when I said thank you as I left I felt a bit ashamed and silly and kept my head down. ‘It’s fine,’ she said. ‘Anytime.’
Yeah, we need more of that. We definitely need more of that.