Acts of Kindness and Consideration

Audrey is one of Mystical Dragon’s trusted and gifted teachers. She is highly intuitive, a qualified Counsellor, Reiki master, and certified Hypnotherapist who sees clients for a variety of services including general and spiritual counselling, readings, and healings. Audrey is also a passionate teacher and currently trains Crystal, Tarot, Chakra, and Reiki courses.

Acts of Kindness and Consideration

When I was a child, I was bullied quite relentlessly at school, from prep all the way through to my second year at high school. Even though it was traumatic and caused many self esteem and self worth issues which took me years to deal with and work out, it also taught me all about kindness and consideration and the importance of these two qualities in our lives.

I did have a couple of childhood friends but was very much a loner growing up, I didn’t get the friendship culture where you had to fit in and that if you didn’t conform to others ideas of what was ‘normal’ then you were pushed out of the group. I didn’t understand at that time why children and girls in particular, could be so mean to each other and go out of their way to be spiteful and cause distress. One day they liked you and you were accepted and then the next day you were on the outer and the focus for mockery and taunts.

This was all a long time ago and back then, if you told the teachers or your parents of being the victim of bullying, you were usually told to “get on with it, that’s life, stop being so sensitive, just try to fit in, don’t be so difficult”. School life was very different in the 1960’s and early 70’s! I heard it all over the years and was convinced it was all my fault, that I was too fat, too ugly, too boring, too different, too quiet. I started to believe what I was being told by the other girls every day and my shyness and lack of confidence grew daily.

Matters weren’t helped by the unfortunate fact that I lost the majority of my hearing in one ear when I was 8 years old, due to being foolish enough to walk behind a horse and getting a swift kick to the head! As a result, I had to wear a hearing device that looked like something out of the dark ages! It was a small black box about the size of today’s mobile phones, with a large dial on the front, it hung around my neck from a thick coloured cord and had a black tape covered wire leading to the large pink plastic ear piece which sat on the outside of my ear. I hated it with a passion! It hurt my ear, never seemed to work properly and would emit an annoying whistle sporadically during class! You can imagine how I suffered at the hands of the other kids because of this. I used to go out of my way to try to ‘forget’ to wear it to school, break it, lose it, hide it in my desk. I even tried to sell it one day to the boy I sat next to in class! I eventually stopped wearing it as I taught myself to lip read to a certain degree out of necessity but most of the time, I just retreated into my own world of muffled near silence. It was preferable than listening to the awful comments of the other kids. It was my escape.

Then when I was 13, I met my English teacher at high school and she changed everything for me. Her name was Gwyneth Lewis, an absolutely wonderful lady who had the most gorgeous sing-song Welsh accent. She was one of those teachers who had a gentle presence but when she walked into the classroom, everyone went quiet and respected her. She noticed on the very first day we met that I couldn’t hear her properly and after taking me tactfully to one side and enquiring why, she made the decision to move me to the front row of class. She made a point of always being in my eye line so I could watch her lips as she talked. Just a small gesture but one that had such a huge impact on me. It was kindness and consideration, pure and simple and it allowed me to become part of the class for the first time in my school life.

Over the following weeks, she became my mentor. Miss Lewis would ask me to stay behind after class and we would discuss books and favourite authors. This sounds a bit strange these days but she would invite me back to her home, a short walk from school, for afternoon tea once a week, it was all very innocent and so kind of her to take so much time nurturing a very lost young girl. During these tea sessions, she would tell me stories of her childhood when she too had been bullied. Miss Lewis taught me how to cope by sharing her experience with me. She gently and kindly drew me out of myself and my confidence slowly started to grow day by day as she would make me aware of my strengths and not my weaknesses.

I remember vividly the day that completely changed my thinking and my reactions to others and to life in general. It was a freezing cold day in February and there was a snowstorm outside. Inside her warm, cosy little flat, as we drank tea and ate hot buttered crumpets, I felt safe and calm, I felt like I mattered, that I was appreciated and liked. I had asked Miss Lewis how could I learn to be confident when every day, someone criticised me for who I was, how I looked, or how I sounded. She said “It’s quite simple, you have a choice. Others have been unkind to you so you have withdrawn into yourself. So now here is your life decision, do you become like your tormentors and go through life complaining and finding fault with life and the people in it, which will cause you to become a poor version of yourself or do you choose to be kind and considerate to others and appreciate the good around you and therefore grow as a person”.

We sat in silence for what seemed ages while I digested her words and tried to make sense of what she had said. I carefully wrote her wisdom down and sat reading it over and over. I still have that piece of paper to this day! I slowly realised that she was so right. I had allowed others to make me unhappy. I had given them the power to rule my life. It was time to finally wake up and realise my life and my attitude towards it and all that it entailed, was indeed my choice and my responsibility and no one else’s.

From that day on, I changed. Even though I had always appreciated life and the good in it, I had allowed the negativity of others to cloud that view, to take away the pleasure and happiness that I had with anyone or anything. I gradually learned the balance of life. Yes, there will always be negative people and yes, there will always be difficult times in life to deal with but by not concentrating all my energy in one direction, I have learned to balance my reactions. Some people will always have the ability to momentarily irritate or annoy, that’s natural but by directing more energy towards the more positive people around me has allowed me to see a happier side of life. By choosing not to be negative and copying the behaviour being shown to me, by choosing to remain positive and show kindness and consideration to others has taught me so much about myself and others. I have seen so many acts of kindness in my life, been touched by the beauty of human nature at its best and this is what I choose to keep inside me, not the bitterness or hate that is sadly so prevalent in today’s society.

I grew from that bitterly cold winters day in February all those years ago back in England, from a painfully shy and introverted young girl into someone who found her voice and her confidence, her self worth and self esteem. It took a long time to repair the damage caused by others and it wasn’t easy but by making a conscious decision every day and in every situation to constantly remind myself of my reaction and attitude to life and all that it contains, I learned self empowerment. I made a conscious decision every day to carry out an act of kindness and consideration to someone whenever I could. Just small acts like opening a door for someone, carrying a neighbours shopping, saying kind words, actually listening to someone’s response to my “how are you” and giving my time to someone who needed it taught me so much about myself and others, it taught me personal choice and balance. It showed me that kindness spreads just as quickly as meanness but that kindness allowed me to grow as a person whereas meanness just shut me down.

I will never forget Miss Lewis and her kindness and consideration to a very lonely, soul-crushed 13 year old. Her thoughtfulness turned my life around. Some people stand out in our lives as real spiritual teachers, I honestly believe that they are sent to this world to guide and heal. Miss Lewis and my Grandmother Clara were the two people in my childhood and teenage years who truly showed me the amazing difference that kindness and consideration can make and they taught me to do the same to others. Instead of judging or criticising others, instead of joining in with negative talk, I try every day to show the same kindness and consideration to others that was shown to me all those years ago. People react more favourably to a kind gesture or word than they do a negative one. Being kind and considerate spreads goodwill and positive energy. My Grandmother told me a long time ago “an act of kindness is like gently throwing a pebble into a still pond. The ripple effect will spread far and wide.” Such wise words and so true. I am forever grateful for the wisdom of my Grandmother and Miss Lewis, two very special and very loved ladies in my life.