Thursday, March 29, 2012

Everybody has a story...

........that could break your heart. That is a line in a wonderful Amanda Marshall song. The consciousness that surrounds deliberate acts of kindness reminds me of that song.
            Now, who can read the mind of the
            redheaded girl next door
            Or the taxi driver who just dropped you off
            Or the, or the classmate that you ignore
            Don't assume everything on the surface is
            what you see
            'Cause that classmate just lost her mother
            And that taxi driver's got a Ph.D”

That consciousness demands that we make choices to look beyond what is visible, and treat each person with the dignity and respect that their personal story deserves – because, one thing I know for sure, everyone does have a story. And kindness could change their narrative, it could even change the ending.

A few weeks ago the weekend paper featured an unusual article celebrating the life of a young women the journalist met posthumously. It was a rich, elegant painting of a life lived with joy and charm, and abundant kindness. Like all great paintings it moved people, and united them through their appreciation of it. The outpouring of esteem for Shelagh (the woman in the story) has been profound, to the extent that the response to her life and story has become the story.

I am not surprised. Catherine Porter, the journalist, lifted the veil of anonymity and revealed to us all why it is so important we make choices to be deliberately, consciously kind, empathetic and generous with our lives. Not because life is too short and unpredictable, as it was with Shelagh, but because it not only enriches our personal stories, but impacts the countless lives we cannot see.

As the song goes…

            So dig deep
            (Dig deep)
            Deeper than the image that you see
            (Dig deep)
            Lift the film and let your true self breathe
            (Dig deep)
            Show the world the beauty underneath

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