I’m really on the fence about sharing these RAKs. I truly believe that you should do your job and shut up about it. And that goes double when you do something nice for someone…be kind for kindness sake, and to make someones day better, and that’s it. There’s not need to tell anyone you’ve done anything, and no need to pat yourself on the back. Don’t do it for acknowledgement, for Facebook likes, for accolades. Just be kind because it’s the right thing to do, and that’s it – end of story.
The thing that drives me to share them here is the hope that by showing ways how to be kind, and how kindness affects others, it’ll inspire folks to follow suit, and will encourage people to look for opportunities to simply do good for the sake of it. So it’s always with unease that I post about these RAKs. Truly, I’m just hoping to show you the good that can be done with just a few moments of thinking about others.
So today’s RAK was flowers for one of my wife’s students. We’ve never met her. My wife teaches on-line and this student enrolled this year in hopes of maintaining some normalcy in her life. She’s currently struggling with Leukemia, and is missing school work right now as she’s undergoing a particularly tough round of chemotherapy. It’s pretty serious. OK, it’s really serious. Her mom is amazingly strong, and somehow keeps it together while discussing assignments and due dates and scheduling with my wife.
And as I listen in the background, I can’t even bring my self to image the pain and heartbreak she must feel as her precious child is fighting for her life in a hospital bed.
So we sent flowers.
It’s almost laughable to think it, actually… In the face of one of hardest things I can imagine a parent experiencing, we send a few flowers…
…as if that will somehow make it any better? How presumptuous of us. I thought on it afterward and almost felt a little foolish. A nice gesture, maybe… But a stranger, butting in at such a private time?
“Um, excuse me…here are some flowers to make it all better.”
But then, my wife gets a little Facebook ding, and sees that the mother has posted these pictures…with a caption calling it a “sweet surprise”. You can’t look at that simple card on those scratchy hospital-white sheets and forget the gravity of that photo.
And with that short post, I’m reminded that we didn’t just send flowers. We sent our intention. We sent our heart to that mother who we’ve never met, but to whom we are cosmically connected, and we told her “We are sorry you are hurting, and we can’t possibly fathom the depths of your pain. But we’re thinking of you and your daughter as you’re struggling through this.”
And the fact that she posted a pic means that our intention was received, and that our simple arrow of kindness met its mark. Our simple gesture brought her a moment of “sweet surprise” – a small break in the clouds on a stormy day.
And that, my friends, is what Turn It Forward is all about. It’s about easing someone’s pain, if only for a brief moment.
It’s July 2 today, and the site isn’t live yet. I haven’t sold a single turning yet, or a shirt, or received any donation. These are just the things we do with the little extra we can put on the side after bills and budgets and groceries. But I believe it’s important, and my hope here is that by starting this website, we’ll be able to provide more “sweet surprises” to many more people. We hope you feel the same.