Today, I woke up to the unfortunate news of yet another tragedy – this time in Las Vegas. A gunman opened fire on a large outdoor crowd killings dozens and wounding several others. The senseless violence is simply inexplainable – I am always at a loss for words as to why these things happen. However, this time my reaction was met with a pang of added worry, because the night before, I had just happened to come across a a former co-worker’s Instagram post that she had just arrived in Vegas and was staying right on the Strip. So when I heard this news, I immediately thought about her and her safety.
Now the thing is that this person is someone that I used to work with years ago and was more or less an acquaintance, so as soon as I thought about reaching out to her to see if she was okay, I held back because we weren’t close and I thought “what if it comes across odd that I, of all people, am randomly reaching out to her to see if she is okay” ? Then a bigger part of me thought, “Nonsense! You have good intentions and instinctively being concerned about someone is never a bad thing.”
So I stopped over-thinking the whole thing and sent her a message asking if she was okay. And shortly after, she replied that all was well and that they had been staying in another hotel down the street. She then followed up with a heartfelt thank you for reaching out – which was sweet and knowing I hopefully helped put a smile on her face made it that much more worthwhile. I would have felt good about it even if I had received no reply, because ultimately, it’s the act of doing it that matters more than the response, but getting an acknowledgement is always an added bonus.
So the point is, don’t ever hold back on kindness just because you don’t know someone that well. It doesn’t matter how close you are to them, no one will ostracize you for being polite and extending them good vibes. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle and what you view as a small gesture, could go a really long way for the recipient. Every well wish unleashes more positive energy – something the world can always use more of.
With the social media-driven society we now live in, you are inadvertently connected to so many people in some way or another and privy to what’s happening in their lives at any given time. I recently did the same thing with a colleague who’s family had been affected by the disastrous weather in Houston. I had seen a post on Facebook about it and followed up with an email from work asking if all was okay and was met with a very kind note of thanks.
There is something particularly special about connecting with virtual strangers in that manner in a time of need. No matter how different you might be, how far away you might be, or how little you might know of each other, you naturally find that common ground of just being human and feeling the same fear and anxiety we all do in a time of duress – and that connection alone can be so profound. And you never know, a small gesture like that could potentially turn an acquaintance into a life-long friend.
Imagine if every person on the planet extended one well wish to another creating a domino effect of positivity – one can only dream of the magnitude of peace that would bring.
Kindness has no boundaries.
The header image can be found here.