The Kindness Ripple is Real

And it can start with one, simple, comment.

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

Do you ever look up from something you’ve been doing for years — maybe decade — and wonder: “Why?”

“Why am I doing this?” “Why do I write? Why do I love her? Why did I marry him?”

A plain, honest ‘why?’.

Does it ever happen to you?

The way my brain works, I find the few things that I can control ( work ethic, my attitude, pain tolerance, etc) and I focus all my mental energy towards them. When I get into any project, it becomes an obsession. It’s all I talk about.

Because I can’t move around yet and I don’t have a job to go it, it’s everything my wife hears. It’s all I can think about.

I need to write more. I need to make more videos. Oh, the new Peter McKinnon video is out. I should take this class! No, that class!

You can’t see this on my face. My wife gets this deluge because it’s been a decade of work — from her end — to get me to trust her with my inner thoughts. And, even now, I know she’s not privy to a lot of it.

There’s a time when I find this obsession useful: I learn a lot — fast — and I cross apply my knowledge. For example, I now have one person who pays me to shoot and edit his videos. I have meetings set up to help others with social media, and other ‘small’ tasks that may or may not be financially fulfilling.

But in the thick of things, there’s this voice that hits me hard:

Why are you doing this? What’s the point?

For the last few months, it’s been a very distinct why:

Why do you write?

Some time ago, I wrote about this. I was young (that’s my excuse) and brazen (being an immigrant has a way of lowering youthful exuberance).

But last month, I couldn’t answer the question.

So, I stopped writing altogether.

Photo by Muzammil Soorma on Unsplash

Why I was able to write has nothing to do with why I write. I don’t know why I write. I used to. I no longer think that reason rings true for me.

I was able to get back to the keyboard and document my thoughts because of the kindness of people I have never met. People I may never meet offline.

A note on my Medium post. A comment on my YouTube Video. An email I re-read. A mention on a list of people to be grateful for.

A connection.

A human connection.

All it took was one person — miles away — telling something true, honest, real. Something about me I couldn’t think about.

A simple comment, jarring me from the darkness of self-doubt and self-defeat.

It might be possible that they might have nothing to do with my return. I acknowledge that. A human mind is a …interesting place.

Reasons are myriad for nearly every single action we undertake.

However, I remember feeling like a part of more. I remember feeling that someone cared enough to take a few seconds and hold the thought of me in their mind.

For one ephemeral moment, they sent feelings of gratitude and belonging my way. I believe that’s what happened.

Can I prove it? Probably not. Do I care?

You know the answer to that.

I will make sure to pass this on to the people offline and online. The people whose issues I have no clue about. People who smile with hardship and try their best to stay up when the whys get too loud.

We will all die one day. I think the journey can be somewhat easier with kindness.

If you don’t know where to start, look around you. Say something honest, uplifting and true to the person next to you.

And if there’s no one, just leave a ‘comment’ whenever you can.

You have no idea how far you can anchor someone with this. It’s not because you can’t see the oceans that people aren’t drowning.

I was saved by them. I hope you can save some too.

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store