The Kindness of a Sister

P1070804 (3)I value kindness, that old fashioned virtue of helping out another human being in a gentle and unassuming manner. Simple acts such as picking up a toy dropped unnoticed from a pram, giving directions to a stranger, checking on a neighbour or giving a heartfelt compliment can make such a difference to the recipient’s day, way beyond the magnitude of the act. More profound acts of kindness take time, effort and commitment. As a psychologist I have heard many sad stories where small acts of kindness would have made a significant difference to someone’s life. Kindness can be contagious and I like to imagine that even the smallest kind act can start a stream of kindness which trickles through the community.

My oldest sister personifies the giving of a quiet and practical kindness. My middle sister has been challenged with complex health concerns her entire life and while she has lived independently since my mother died 15 years ago, she needs assistance with shopping, managing her finances and a myriad of medical appointments. My oldest sister turns up repeatedly, to provide hands-on help to her. It’s not an easy task, it requires patience and persistence. It’s thankless and often goes unnoticed.

Over the many years that my oldest sister has been providing this kindness I have never heard her complain. She has also never made any comments that would inflame my guilt; of moving away and not being available to help. This too is an act of kindness.

So thank you oldest sister, I notice and value your kindness and the world is a better place for your actions.

6 thoughts on “The Kindness of a Sister

  1. Mary Ann 01/03/2015 / 9:15 pm

    Beautiful Anne, love the idea of kindness and how it can flow on, and really lovely words for your sister.

    • Anne 01/03/2015 / 9:52 pm

      Thanks Mary Ann, maybe we could start a kindness revolution

      • Gail Reid 01/03/2015 / 10:24 pm

        Well written and emotive Anne, I’m sure you’ve told your sister how wonderfully kind she is. Being kind most definitely has flow on effects, in my humble opinion. Just seeing someone smile, or recognising a look of surprise, even shock, reinforces our sense of humanity. We all need to connect, even if only fleetingly. Viva La revolution girlfriends.

        • Anne 02/03/2015 / 4:57 am

          Thanks Gail, yes we definitely need to connect. Glad you’re happy to join the revolution.

  2. Wendy 02/03/2015 / 8:13 am

    Hello Steve and Anne – this is Wendy van Ee here (QFES) – I have met Steve a number of times in meetings and was envious of the plans for long service leave. What a great blog you have! So easy to read and interesting. The writings about kindness has particularly touched me and I could not agree more. Small acts can make such a big difference. I love what you have written and am now one of your followers!

    • Anne 02/03/2015 / 8:05 pm

      Hi Wendy, Steve says hi and thanks for joining us on our journey. I am glad you agree about kindness, I reAlly do think it’s a way of connecting with others and all are richer for it.

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