*** The first three books in my six-part dystopian series have officially made their way out into the world! Check them out!
For the sake of blogging, self-exploration, and contemplation, I’ve been slowly making my way through answering questions from this list
Today’s Question: What is your happiest memory?
I don’t know how to choose one to define as my “happiest” so I’m just going to choose one from the pile. Summers during my teenage years spent all day every day at the stables, riding horses all day around the trails, riding to town and going through the Dairy Queen Drive-through on horseback, roasting hot dogs over the campfire. Then going to horse camp and doing fun gymkhanas and drill team. But those are more like “happy periods of time” than one specific memory. I’m going to go a different route here.
Six years ago after I came back from Tennessee, I really wanted to back to my roots and find some of that happiness I had lost somewhere along the way. I got a job with an animal rescue. After being treated like absolute garbage for the last handful of years, my new boss’ basic kindness meant a lot to me. One day she called me and she said she wanted to go shopping and wanted to know if I wanted to come along. I said sure of course, despite having no money (I was just starting over so I didn’t exact have extra spending money just starting out with a new job and a new apartment, etc.) We went on a shopping spree and I was up front that I was just starting out financially and couldn’t afford things. She waved me off like that was a silly statement and bought things for me without a second thought. I was befuddled and bewildered. Why was this person I didn’t even know buying me a new wardrobe? I mean, to be fair, what limited clothes I had at the time weren’t all that nice, but this was clearly not a typical thing for a boss to do for their new employee.
It wasn’t the clothes, or the money, but it was the gesture itself that nearly made me cry. It was just that someone was being that kind to me, for no reason that I knew of, at a moment in my life where I really, REALLY needed to experience some kindness.
Six years later, I would take a bullet for her. She has my loyalty without question. I have stuck with my organization for six years even through rough patches because of that day. Because even when I’m frustrated or feel mistreated by somebody, my boss was the first person in a very long time to give me a chance, to show me kindness, to stand up for me when needed, to back me up when needed, to support me, to give me opportunities to grow. To this day she says extremely nice things about me to others. I have the opportunity to save lives because of the chances she’s given me.
Now that I’ve written about this day I’m not entirely sure that I answered this question accurately. I don’t know if that is my “happiest” memory, but its a memory that means a lot to me because in a lot of ways, that gesture saved me. That act of kindness from someone who didn’t even know me yet helped give me some hope that kindness still existed in the world. It motivated me to care and to try. It helped me believe in karma and in the world setting things right. That day eventually led me to where I am now.
Never underestimate a gesture of kindness, no matter how big or small it may seem to you. We often have no idea how big of an impact we can actually make with our kindness, and that’s the same with our cruelty. How you treat someone else can make such a huge difference in their lives. Choose kindness. Choose compassion. You could literally save someone with a kind gesture. My boss didn’t know me yet that day, and she had no way to know how much of an impact asking me to go shopping with her would have on me. She did it because that’s the kind of person she is. Exactly the kind of person that I really, really wanted to find. (I don’t mean because of the money or the shopping. But just the KINDNESS.)
“In a world where you can choose to be anything, be kind.”