For all my people who know the struggle
If you know me, you’ll know that I’m the bubbly girl, always smiling, always friendly, sometimes, too much so. That’s because I know what it’s like to need a little bit of kindness the way you need air after making a mad dash for your life. Kindness costs nothing and it means everything. It can save lives.
You see that person, always smiling in those exotic photos and you think ‘oh wow, their life is so much better than mine’. But you don’t know that every morning they wake up feeling a little less like themselves and that every day it’s a struggle to remember why they want to be alive. Never forget to ask your happy people how they’re doing. Be kind.
The bitch who walks by you every day without saying good morning is locked in her world of darkness. Every morning she cooks and cleans, struggles to get her two children ready, battles her way through two minibuses, one school and a day-care and then she comes your way to slave for 8 hours and then battles her way home to cook, clean and listen to her mother nag about her good-for-nothing ex-man. She can barely make it through a day, barely breathe sometimes, she’s so alone. But yet, she fights. Say good morning, smile at her. Be kind.
You know that annoying man who brags about his achievements and the cost of the watch on his wrist, his wife doesn’t love him. For her he was just an opportunity to live a life up in the sky with no worries. Every night he goes home to a woman who doesn’t want children and never asks him how he is because she doesn’t care. Sex is a mechanical thing, she’s disinterested, only there for him to cum so she can feel a little less guilty about using him. Tell him a story or two. Ask him if he had a good day. Be kind.
And that girl, the hot one with the opinions who acts like she doesn’t know how not to be the centre of attention and like she’s too good for everyone. Well, last year the love of her life said that the only woman he’d be in a relationship with was a pretty girl he was always texting when they were together. He told her that he wanted to sleep with other people and dragged her through a year of feeling like there was something wrong with her because she was not “liberal”. She felt like she wasn’t beautiful, like it was her fault he didn’t want her and when she became suicidal his response was, “go kill yourself”. She almost did. Several times. Don’t judge her. Be kind.
The man at the workshop in wrinkled pants and old slippers isn’t a lazy weirdo. He’s getting old himself, his knees hurt when it rains and his mother is sick. Every day his life is planned around moving her from bed to bathroom, bathroom to veranda, and then back to bed. Sometimes he’s so exhausted the only time he gets for self-care is when he’s standing in front a tawa trying to make himself some sada roti. Give him something to laugh about. Be kind.
Even if you don’t know what it’s like to smile through your pain or to battle for a family when you can barely hold yourself up. Even if you don’t know what it’s like to not be loved or to watch someone you love wither away and die. Even if you don’t know…please, be kind. It costs nothing but it means everything to someone, somewhere.