I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn
This is how I try to live my life. Everyday. It costs me nothing (usually) but if I can help someone else why would I not?
I like helping people whenever I can. I like people. Yeah, I am the archetypal people person. But really is it not better to give a kind encouraging word than to be unkind? I do not understand people who do not help others when they can.
I have been lucky. I have a great family, wonderful friends and have had some inspirational mentors in my life. Sure I have also had those people who are best forgotten for their “inadequacy” but fortunately they have been few and far between. To my family, friends and mentors I have tried to say thank you and express my appreciation at every opportunity. But it is the random gestures of kindness or words that often mean the most.
Like my program chair who realized I was struggling (not academically!) and reached out to provide assistance. It was the MacEwan Students’ with Disabilities counsellors and assistants who never made me feel like I had a disability. Instead it was always about removing barriers so I could excel in classes and during exams. It was one of the counsellors there who said the nicest thing to me when I mentioned I had been approached about being on Students’ Council and I expressed doubts (I was double the age of most students and I was still recovering). But she said,”Do it, you would be great. You have so much to give and contribute. Do not let fear hold you back.”
Then there were my classmates who in my second year when they knew I still had no funding for tuition and was scrambling lent me their textbooks for weeks until I could afford to buy my own. It was the classmates who upon hearing my story were emphatic and encouraging never making me feel like a victim (which I never consider myself anyway).
To be continued…