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BLOG POST: In praise of kindness

Last weekend, I received a very supportive email from someone I have never met. The person in question hadn’t heard from me for over two years, our connection is highly unlikely to benefit him in his business, but he took the time out of his weekend to email and say ‘hey, well done’. And it meant so much.

In October 2012, Inkpots was just a name on a scrap of paper and I was only just beginning to grapple with starting up a new business. By chance, I heard Colin Crooks, CEO of social enterprise Tree Shepherd, on Radio 4, giving a lecture in the Four Thought series. Colin’s passion and drive really inspired me – so I emailed him to say so. He replied by return and his encouragement and positive words stayed with me – especially when the going got a bit tough. So, when the new website was launched, I just wanted to let him know that some of my plans had come to fruition.

I suspect that Colin Crooks is someone who really cares about other people and regularly helps others. But, on a very wet and miserable Sunday afternoon he lit up my life for a few minutes. Running your own business can be a lonely affair at times, so to get encouragement from someone who has been in your position (albeit many moons ago) is priceless.

But, this got me thinking about how simple acts can make such a difference. In this busy old world of ours, just taking a moment to be selfless really matters; maybe even more so, because we hardly have the time ‘to stop and stare’.

One of the few rules that we have at the Inkpots Writing Workshops for children is that we are all kind to one another. This involves listening and showing interest in each other’s work. It means no-one is laughed at – lots of laughing together, but never making fun of someone.

Just this week, it was lovely to see a Year 6 girl taking time and patience to help a much younger child out – I caught the look on his face as she helped him work the puzzle out, and he couldn’t have looked happier.

Small acts, simple things. Helping the world go around.

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