Just a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine was the recipient of a random act of violence. She sat in a nail salon in a busy strip center, the only customer on a Monday afternoon at 4:30. Two people walked in. She looked up at the man who had come up beside her and his gun hit the side of her head, knocking her off her chair and on to the ground. She felt the blood running down her face from the force of the blow. The man then reached down and dragged her to a closet, throwing her inside and closing the door. She caught a glimpse of the shopkeepers being beaten by the man’s accomplice as she was dragged to the closet.
For what seemed like hours, but was only just a few minutes, she stayed in the closet. She thought of her children and her husband, waiting for her at home. She thought of running out to help the shopkeeper, but then risking her life and leaving her young children alone. She finally left the closet and found the attackers were gone. She ran to an exercise studio next door and called the police.
Why am I telling you this? For a few reasons. The first is that although we keep pushing for random acts of kindness, it is so important to realize that random acts of violence still happen every day. And for each random act of kindness, we believe that the ripple effect continues, leading each person in turn to do something nice for someone else. But does that work with the RAOV? For my friend, the ripples from the incident are her nightmares and her fear of being alone at night or in a parking lot. She fears for her kids when she drops them off anywhere. Who can blame her?
The scars from her attack are healing, but the scars you can’t see will take much longer to heal. The fears and nightmares will continue. But along with that came an outpouring of kindness from friends and people she hadn’t met. She was given a spa day by her office, her boss paid off a bill for her, her friends have given her flowers and cards. She receives more hugs now than she ever did before when she gets to work. And she appreciates each one.
Continue your random acts of kindness and we can spread the kindness and good feelings outward. Yes, things like this will continue to happen, we can’t stop it. But we can learn to move on and continue to be kind and good to others. My friend is still a loving, caring person with a positive outlook. She’s a strong woman and I’m so glad she’s my friend.
Have a great day…and be safe out there.