When I was nominated by my friend and fellow mom blogger Jacqui from One Messy Mama who nominated me to pay it forward with a random act of kindness, there were many things I could have done to be kind to less fortunate people than myself, but there was only one that I kept coming back to.
The Harsh Reality
Living in South Africa, I realise that the lifestyle my family and I lead is one that can be considered to be extremely privileged compared to the majority of the South African population. Not just that of South Africa but Africa as a whole.
For those of you who don’t know, I am originally from Zimbabwe. My girls were born there, and shortly after my youngest was born, we got on a plane and left. This was in 2013. There were many reasons why we left. However, the number one reason was the instability of income. With a new baby added to our family, we decided that the time had come to temporarily give up on our dream of being self-employed. We needed to settle for the much safer and more predictable life of him having a job and regular income. The job market in Zimbabwe is extremely limited, unemployment is around 95%. So off to South Africa we went, because as a South African there was greater opportunity for my husband there than in Zim.
I can’t stress to you how terrified I was to live in South Africa. With the crime rate and person on person violence here, South Africa is the 10th most dangerous country to live in, in the world. We decided that the safest place for us to be was to live in a townhouse complex and I am very blessed that the one we have been living in for the past three years is one of the safest places I have ever lived.
I Am Grateful
This all comes at a cost, I’m not blind to that. Again, being able to afford to live here is just one of the things I am grateful to my husband for. One of the features of the security of our estate is 24 hour guards at the entrance to the estate. There are two guards on duty every day on a 12 hour shift.
Kindness Costs Nothing
One of the things I always try to teach my girls is that it is important to treat everyone equally and to be kind, and respectful to everyone you meet. Whether it is the headmaster of their school, or the teller at the local supermarket, the waiter in the restaurant, or the security guards at the entrance to our estate. Everyone deserves the same respect because none of us is better than anyone else, and kindness costs nothing!
So yesterday I packed up two lunches, added a coke and an apple to each and off we went to make a special delivery to the security guards at the gate of our complex. When I stopped at the gate, the girls were extremely excited. They insisted that they wanted to be the ones to deliver the lunch to the guards. This makes my heart happy. I am glad I chose to do it when they were with me. It is so important that they are involved in something where they can actually see what being kind, and what thinking of others actually means.
I wasn’t able to get any pictures of the girls’ delivery of the lunches because I was trying to make sure that they didn’t get run over, or drop the food on the road! #momlife! But then again, it’s not always about taking pictures of everything good you do, it’s about what you do that counts.
At first the guards were so surprised, they weren’t even sure what was going on. They were actually in the process of coming to see why I had stopped the car for so long. To say that they were grateful would be an understatement.
When I came back in through the gate an hour later they both happily waved over to me. Normally they are professional in their duty and don’t usually engage with the residents. Us taking the time to thank them with a small gesture went much further than the plate of food provided. It’s not so much about what you give as it is about how it makes the person feel. That is what you get back from something like this. That feeling of being happy for making someone else happy. One small random act of kindness goes much further than you see.
Thank you Jacqui for nominating me, and reminding me that it’s the small things that count the most.
I now get to nominate two other mamas to take up the challenge. If you get nominated, you have 48 hours to complete a Random Act of Kindness. This can be for a stranger, your domestic helper, your child’s teacher, your neighbour, absolutely anyone! Then you need to tag two more mamas to do the same, using the hashtags #RAK and #momswhocare. If you haven’t been nominated, but are feeling inspired, then step right up and nominate yourself!
Become part of the #mumolution, I dare you!