Wednesday, 20 December 2017


This time of year I am always trying to do something for someone else. I find that Christmas can be quite commercial and within that we lose the community and loving aspect that it brings.
In all walks of life there is always something negative going on; it could be between families, friends and communities or even to complete strangers. I do believe in an altruistic giving with the phrase “Peace on Earth and good will to all men” at the centre of it and I know many share that mind-set at this time of year but I do believe it is more than seasonal; even if that is a high expectation on life and humanity at times!

I know that I may appear to be a “grumpy old man” at times but I do think that the people who know me well know that I always have kindness in my mind when I do things.
Kindness, for me, is at the route of true giving; something that needs to be clearly distinguished between pity.

I know many people look at different scenarios, especially this time of year, and see that others are suffering and do so to help them; something that I think is a mix between kindness and pity.
Then there are other moments when people go above and beyond what they need to do to help which has nothing to do with pity and everything to do with kindness.

This year, in many ways, has been quite rough. I don’t list the following for any other reason but to clarify why it has.
I have had benefits muddled up, a “friend” who was a “carer” change which had financial consequences, attended and collected from food banks, claimed emergency funding, had my wheelchair break, had to look after my father who has had, recovered and then diagnosed again with a different types of cancer and, finally, had to deal with both online and offline community problems. The year, at times, has been quite tough and yet I have seen selfless love and kindness over and over again.

I am not going to directly name the people involved but I have had some true acts of kindness that I am extremely grateful for.
I read last year a wonderful post from Donna that said you don’t need a tribe or a pod but hit upon the fact that we all need friends. I wouldn’t say, despite to many who might wonder, that I have a group, tribe or pod but I would say that I do have friends. They may not all interact with each other but there are definitely different people who, within blogging, that I class as friends.

Not long ago, Natalie wrote a post about the loneliness of the mainland and that no man is an island but the mainland can be pretty lonely too. This, not only a fantastic and real post, hit a nerve. I don’t tend to speak about what I am going through because I don’t really want to be the grumpy old man character and definitely don’t want to be always seen as moaning but that does leave you quite isolated.
I equally don’t and have never wanted pity. Yet, I think sometimes the difference between kindness and pity is how the person receiving the kindness sees it. I haven’t mentioned what I have been going through because I don’t want an outpouring of pity but when kindness is met I have had to accept it as such and know that people haven’t pitied me.

So, when all of the above has happened and without discussing these things people have time and time again stepped forward and shown me kindness. Not pity because they are seeing someone struggle but kindness because they too have known the struggle in places or want to help someone they care about but who, in reality of things, is a complete stranger to them.
They haven’t done so because they want massive thanks and self-gratitude or because of pity but pure kindness and good will.

Within these last 12 months I have received 2 food parcels, a Tesco’s voucher, seen the kindness of a community stand up for me, despite what has been said still found the time to come and find me or chat to me if we have randomly bumped into each other, had help and support with posts that I have written and even been bought a brand new wheelchair.

I don’t think words could ever express how much all of this has meant to me. I can’t really repay many of you but I know you didn’t expect me to when you helped but I am truly thankful.

No man is an island and you definitely don’t need a tribe or a pod but I am grateful that I have friends that care, friends that make the mainland less lonely and don’t pity but show the true acts of kindness.
This year I have learnt that kindness and good will to all men isn’t just something that happens at Christmas but happens all year round.


Relentlessly Purple said...

I love this post and the fact you have been shown such kindness. So many of us go through rough times whether we open up about it or not and it is lovely when someone is genuinely kind. I have definitely seen a lot myself this year and it has restored my faith in humanity a bit. I had got to a point where I felt people had become way too selfish and kindness was disappearing and this post has reminded me there are still some genuine lovely people around.

Plutonium Sox said...

Great post, it is lovely to hear that you have experienced kindness this year, if people can be kind in the face of a total grumpy git then they must be pretty amazing.

Picking Up Toys said...

Cor, where do you find these kind people eh? I seem to be surrounded by grumpy sods! Love this post though, always nice to know there are people out there who have your back!

What the Redhead said said...

I hope more read this and give acts of kindness too - you deserve all this and more. Merry Christmas Martyn x

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