Complicating kindness

I’ve had this knot in my chest since Saturday. Why? I read a tweet by someone who, rightfully or not, was destroying the act of clapping for the NHS every Thursday night. Admittedly, she did work for the NHS and had a very valid argument for her objection, mainly to do with the Conservative party. She turned it into the notion of people clapping while medical staff walked, poorly protected, to their deaths. She was, unfairly in my opinion, muddying the waters of good intention. I shook my head throughout the whole critique. No, you are being unfair to so many good people here.

Speaking for myself, I am not clapping because I agree with Boris, or out of an ignorance that there has not been a deadly incompetence amongst our politicians. I am clapping for my friends, my cousins, my sister-in-law, my doctors because it’s the only thing I can offer right now. It’s neighbourly too.

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If we always saw a hundred sides to every act of kindness and let them stop us, there wouldn’t be anything left. Silent streets, closed doors, needy people passed by. There is too much pride wrapped up in not doing what may be the kindest thing. Is it not better to step out and offer our help, however many objections our arm-folded observers have?

Many years ago, I shrank away from kindness because I read too much into it. Now I welcome care, consideration, even love with a grateful smile. People just want to help sometimes, no ulterior motive whatsoever.

There have been so many acts of kindness during these dark times. Deliveries made to isolating vulnerable neighbours, stepping aside to allow people to pass by safely, carrying groceries, parcels, even plants to our doors to help reduce the spread of this virus, and clapping. Not to say we’re Conservatives. Not to support the danger people are putting themselves in every day to care for others but just, with no agenda, very simply, to show kindness. I truly hope that it is accepted in that way too.

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