December 11, 2018 at 9:03 am #15604
Unfortunately in the world we live in today, its sometimes hard to remember that there are a lot of good people in this world. Whenever I turn on the TV or any other news outlet, I tend to see mass shootings, devastation from natural disasters such as floods or forest fires, armed robberies or other intentionally harmful behaviour from one person towards another. As a result of this, I try to look for the good in others and often share stories of goodness whenever I can. With that said, I wanted to share a story with you.
Recently I was discussing with another forum member, Ray King about how anxious I felt regarding snow removal this winter. There is no way I am physically able to shovel the snow anymore, and a build up of snow if it falls heavily one night can prevent me from getting into work in the morning. While trying to brainstorm an easy and cost-effective way around this, I decided to post an anonymous letter on the mailboxes (2) on the crescent where I live asking for help around this task. On that letter I identified the following:
- That I lived on the crescent and was a neighbour to those also living here.
- That I have a chronic lung condition that often requires supplemental oxygen.
- That I was willing to pay a school-aged child/youth some form of compensation if they were willing to shovel my driveway.
- That I would be extremely grateful for some help with this task.
I did not publicly include where I lived exactly, or any personal details about myself other than my name and phone number. About a week after I posted this note, I received a text from a neighbour 4 houses down that I’ve not yet met: he and his son would be more than happy to shovel my driveway, and they do not want to be paid for it. Just this past week it snowed enough to make things slippery and before I’d even come home from the hospital following a day of appointments, I had a text that said my driveway was cleared off for me and he asked where I kept the salt so he could put it down to ensure I didn’t slip. I was so overwhelmed (and exhausted) that I cried when his text came through. I am just so happy that I don’t have to worry about this task this upcoming winter. I was once again reminded that there are still a lot of good people in the world, despite the stories we see on the news.
I also love Christmas time and find this season is one that can be filled with hope, magic and a lot of kindness if you open up to the right people. I am so thankful for this person!
Have you had any reminders of the kindness people are capable of since your diagnosis of IPF/PF?
If so, please share and lets inspire our forums community!
April 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm #18524MarianneParticipant
I have an ILD. Scheduled for a VATS biopsy to learn which one. I like having another person present when I go to various doctors. If my family cannot go, I have various friends who have offered to go with me and be another “set of ears”. Lots of friends have told me to call them if I need anything. Only indication I have is a dry cough plus CT scans of my lungs are not good. Feel pretty good most of the time.
One thing I enjoy doing for others and have done for the past couple years is to buy flowers and give them to another person. Sometimes I give them to a friend and other times a stranger. It gives me more pleasure than it does them. A local grocery store near me often discounts flowers and I try to get them on sale. Sometimes I just give a person one flower and tell them to have a blessed day. We never know what another person is going through in their lives. Sometimes just a smile and a hello works wonders. I always remember my mother telling me to give flowers to the living. So I try to follow through on that perhaps in memory of her.
Hope this inspires someone else to bring some sunshine into another’s life.
April 17, 2019 at 8:13 am #18548
Thanks so much for writing and contributing your experience to this topic! I’m so glad to hear you have a group of friends and family members who have rallied around you, and offered to attend appointments with you. It is always beneficial to have a second set of ears for these appointments, I agree.
Your brief story about buying flowers for others is so kind, actually brought a tear to my eye and gave me goosebumps. This is because I remembered how I feel when I get flowers; such a simple and kind gesture but yet it has the ability to change someone’s day for the better so drastically. Kudos to you for doing this! What a beautiful way to bring sunshine into another person’s life and to honour your mother… you certainly inspired me today! 🙂
April 17, 2019 at 4:54 am #18546Katie BagshaweParticipant
Wow Charlene, that is so lovely that someone came to the rescue to ease your anxieties. I agree wholeheartedly with you that as individuals it can be so easy to become self involved because of all the angst and hate around us, it’s so easy to get hurt in this cruel world that we forget to show simple acts of kindness, or people are judgemental when you do try to show kindness. I always as a rule ever since my Dads illness try to be patient with people, and try to put myself in their shoes. I work in Healthcare so I always come across complex issues with patients, and working in Radiology we don’t get a full picture of what’s going on or what has been happening as it’s not necessary to what we do. That being said, I do try to be considerate and think of others as sometimes people I work with can be unnecessarily cruel in their words instead of thinking of the bigger picture of what a patient is going through or other medical conditions they may have that affects their behaviour.
There is one thing I love that has been shared a lot, and that is people leaving positive messages in random places for people to pick up or books being left for others to take away and read. I always find myself reading articles about the kindness in people as it helps give a smile when you can easily become so cynical. If I had more spare time I would love to help older people combat loneliness as it always breaks my heart coming across people at work that are isolated in their community. My Grandparents died when I was fairly young so I feel I missed out in that vein, so it would be nice to give back. My brothers partner visits an elderly chap a couple of times a month as part of a charity outreach, they just sit and have a cup of tea and have a chat and it’s been lovely hearing about how that has positively affected them.
April 17, 2019 at 8:18 am #18549
Thanks so much for getting in touch and sharing your thoughts on this topic. Something that is so important, I agree, but easy to miss due to everything going on in our own lives. Life can be so hard for people, even ourselves sometimes, that it feels like all we can manage to do for ourselves is survive, let alone help others. However, with that said, it is so important to support and help others as oftentimes this is what gives us the boost to keep going and/or feel better.
The city I live in is really starting to adopt the little library’s phenomenon – have you heard of this? People are building small little boxes and placing them on their front lawn, looking similar to little bird houses but on the grass and leaving books in them for people to take for free. The idea is if you “take a book, leave a book” but you don’t have to do the latter. It’s a really neat way to build community, and to brighten someone’s day when they may not be able to buy books for themselves, families, etc. I’ve seen many people benefit from this and leave feeling happier! Glad your brother’s partner is able to do that, it must make such a difference to that senior and over an enjoyable cup of tea too. A wonderful (and simple) opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life. We all need to strive to do that more I think, when we can.
Thanks for writing.
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