Tuesday, 15 September 2009

The kindness of strangers

Today,  a little girl who arrived home from school a little weary and battleworn (for today was the Kent Test, or the 11-plus, as it is also known) was cheered up no end by a beribboned and tissue-wrapped parcel which awaited her return. In that parcel was this T-shirt, which as you can see, sports a dolphin motif.



Princess Bunchy, as you might remember from this post, has a penchant for all things dolphin, although she has much to say, which is not entirely approving, on the subject of dolphins kept in captivity. However, this dolphin fixed in time and place is, in her informed opinion, the pink and pinnacle of perfection.

And for this we have to thank the kindness of dearest Florence, who also goes under the nom-de-plume of Flossie Teacakes. Florence does a rather nifty line of T-shirts, of which Princess Bunchy has a delightful, and growing, collection.



You can see from the photos that they are much admired by the discerning Border Collie.



Princess Bunchy and I have both been touched and cheered by this wonderful act of kindness, and one of the things that I have found so lovely about the blogging community is the generosity of spirit exhibited by bloggers, both in the comments on blogs, and in the sharing that goes on via giveaways and swaps and pay-it-forward arrangements.



There are two lovely swaps going on at the moment which don't require a huge investment of time or money - the Letter Writing Swap at A Bun Can Dance, and the Marmalade Kiss Seed Swap. But perhaps signing up to a swap or a pay-it-forward seems like too much of a commitment, with the allied fear of not being able to meet one's obligations or not living up to a perceived high standard.



So I have an idea for you, which involves no tit for tat, and is entirely unconditional. Wordsworth writes of the significance of 'little, nameless, unremembered acts/Of kindness and of love', and also George Eliot in Middlemarch tells us that 'the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts'.



So without thought of return, go and commit an act of kindness today, and make the world a better place. And I promise that you will feel better for it, too.

Someone I met once said to me that she believed that if you live your life with a giving attitude, then blessings will come to you - and funnily enough I have always found it to be true. So, Florence, may blessings come to you - and in turn I am off to commit some acts of kindness myself! Perhaps you might like to take cover.

29 comments:

Floss said...

Oh, Pomona, I love your last line! I also love the rest of the post - how wonderful. Kent - last of the 11+ counties, or nearly, isn't it? Now I'm in France I'm out of touch with the UK education system. I hope your daughter gets the results you and she want.

Your prize is sitting neatly on my upstairs table, as I swaddle vomiting children (I exagerate a bit, but that's been how it feels recently!) I have kept your prize completely out of their way, you will be relieved to know... I'll post it when all are well again. Thanks for your inspiring thoughts.

Tabiboo said...

What a beautiful posting.

We have the Kent Test looming next year which is already putting doom and gloom on our 'oh so little still' nine year olds shoulders so all our warm wishes are with your Princess Bunchy.

take care,

Nina x

Michela said...

Your words are always so true and special, thank you Pomona!

Hen said...

I'm sure Princess B shall do well, with such a literate Queen Bunchy! I'm loving your dog. I'm not massively a dog person, I don't dislike them, I've just never had one and always had cats. However, I love Collies, like our neighbour's dog, Molly, and I think if we ever move to the country and get a dog it shall be a beautiful black and white collie. Florence has made Princess B some lovely t-shirts, she has a great talent for applique and Princess B looks a picture.
Liked your words about kindness. Gives me something to ponder...
Hen x
P.S. Has Letty Owl reached her nest?

JuliaB said...

And I am one of your lucky recipients! Thankyou again Pomona. Florence once sent me the most DELICIOUS pink meringues. They were like magic fairy bites, so light and fluffy. I find that kindness is sometimes regarded suspiciously in real life. It's so wonderful to be able to be kind and generous without reason or thought of reward.

Lola Nova said...

What a lovely post.
I was just talking to the wee one yesterday about doing kind things for people 'just because'. It really does lighten my spirit and refreshes my mind when I exercise this philosophy.
Thank you for sharing this.

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Lovely lovely random acts of kindness, my favourite mantra.

Beautiful post, love Sarah x

Menopausal musing said...

Beautiful post. I just read it after an evening with another rather special eleven year old. (My charge!). They have such discerning taste.... and good for them is what I say! Thanks for comment re getting a Scottie.... "In my dreams" (unfortunately), so "Pickle" is just going to have to brace himself..... (Ha! Ha!) x

Rachel Follett said...

I love dolphins too! Cute shirts and adorable dog!

Pipany said...

I agree, I agree, I agree! Be unto others and all that is definitely the way to go but it's good to be reminded Pomona. I loved this post and shall keep its message in my head today. Clever Florence too x

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

What lovely T-shirts Florence has made Princess Bunchy and how kind. I too have been surprised by the blogging community's friendlyness, not something that I had really thought of or expected when I first started out in February this year.
So true, it doesn't take much to be kind.
Take care
Isabelle x

julieknitsjuliesews said...

What a thoughtful post you have written and how true. Lovely photo's too, I am sure she will do well. I might just think about doing a swap, never joined in one before. best wishes Julie.C

MelMel said...

Hello!

What lovely dog....x

Karen L R said...

This post was today's perfection. Thanks, Pomona.

Simply H said...

This really was a lovely and thoughtful post Pomona and I loved the t-shirt Florence sent.
Random acts of kindness are a wonderful thing - make someone else smile and feel pretty good yourself!

Rowan said...

I like the T-shirt and the Border Collie too, hope that your daughter passes her 11+,I didn't realise it was still in existence. Your idea of little random acts of kindness is a lovely one - I agree with you that 'what goes around comes around'. I will try to do my bit on this:)

jennyflower said...

I have received a suprise gift today and it has made me quite weepy! Gorgeous T! xx

Itch2stitch.com said...

Pomona, what a thoughtful a so true post! I . too agree with you about being kind. It is such a simple thing to do, and it can be a small thing too. But after every act of kindness the world just becomes that bit better. Thanks for you lovely comments on my blog, I worried that the subject was a little heavy compared to my usual posts, but like you so very rightly pointed out, it it helps anyone at all, then I am glad I wrote about it! My post tomorrow will be back to 'normal'! Suzie. xxx

Serenata said...

What a lovely post and truer words not often spoken.

I hope your daughter does well in her tests. Seems the stress of tests come to the young far too early here.

pebbledash said...

Oh what a lovely post! There is a saying ...I don't know where it originated...Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

Sew Scrumptious said...

What a lovely post. Thank you so much for featuring my giveaway and offering me seeds and lavender! I would love some please!! Will email you. Going to think of an act of kindness for me to do for someone else now! x

quiltcat said...

Princess Bunchy has such gentle hands with her Border Collie and looks very lovely in her appliqued tshirts. I hope she did well on her tests!

Annie x said...

thats such a lovely pot hun..thanks for sharing x I try to live my life like that too and am a firm beleiver that it does work!!
Your blog is Lovely x
Annie x

Duchess of Tea said...

Hello darling, please forgive me for not visiting your lovely blog this week… life was very hectic at Rose Tea Cottage!!! Hopefully things will calm down this coming week.

Have a sweet and lovely weekend.

Love & Hugs
Duchess ♥ ♥ ♥

Bobo Bun said...

Hi found you through Pipany. Despite all the stress of the exam it looks very good to come home to a gift and a cuddle with an adoring collie. Hope she does well.

I know what you mean about random acts of kindness. A few months ago I bought some shoes and lunch for a homeless youngster. He was in such a state with shoes in tatters. All I could think was life on the streets is hard enough without damaging your feet and then it would be worse trying to fend for himself. I had a great chat with him and off I went. For the rest of the day everyone seemed to be really pleasant to me. I'm not religious at all, but it felt like the day had brightened up a lot. Thanks for writing this post as it's what life should be all about.

Lisa x

Calico Kate said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful post Pomona. Thank you for reminding us to be 'good' to one another.
CKx

susan said...

Hi Pomona,
I've signed up for the letter writing swap as well I can't wait to go out and buy some beautiful stationery Maybe we'll get each other in the drawer!

Florence said...

Oh Pomona! That was such a lovely post - thank you, I'm hugely flattered and touched by your kind words - and such a treat to see the lovely Princess Bunchy in all her many t-shirts.

...and still laughing at the last sentence! x

Elise said...

such a lovely post ! and I love the name flossie teakcakes !

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