“One small act of kindness”

“One small act of kindness”

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I was talking with my cousin last week, and she said something like, “ I love home made things, you should paint.” I have been struggling lately and decided to give it a shot. I am no artist by any means. My artistic ability is limited to stick figures and it’s been over a year since I’ve painted. 

While I was in Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP) I attended a class called “Art for Healing”. We learned how to paint our feelings through abstract art, using only make up sponges and q-tips. This helps level the playing field when it comes to artistic ability because the goal isn’t to paint an object but rather to express your feelings through color. Even after IOP, I have used painting to help me understand and express the way I feel, but it was a wellness tool that I had nearly forgotten about. 

So, to the painting. I started by covering the canvas in black. We all have dark times in our life and some of these may have been enhanced by the spread of COVID-19. Things like stress, fear, uncertainty, isolation and loneliness can have a major impact on our mental health. 

This next part may take some imagination to understand. I next added the ripples from the center. Starting with a dark grey that is harder to see, then the gold which adds beauty, then the white which is a sharp contrast to the black background. Last, I finished with a single red dot in the center. 

Now please let me explain what this painting means to me. One small act of kindness ( or Love) can have an impact on someone’s hour, day, week, year, and even life. Some affects are harder to see but lighten the darkness we may be experiencing. And then, they ripple out growing bigger and having a greater affect on an individual and those around them. Some affects are clearly visible and add beauty to someone’s day. And again they ripple out and have a bigger affect on the individual and the people around them. Some affects offer a sharp contrast to the darkness we are experiencing. Again, rippling out to have a greater affect. Last, the cause of all these ripples, one small act of kindness. 

Now I need your imagination again. The canvas started out completely black and we saw the affects of one red dot but what if there was a second red dot and set of ripples? A third, and fourth? After only a few acts of kindness, someone’s canvas begins to go from completely black to having light and color. 

One small act of kindness, “ I like home made things, you should paint” has helped brighten my canvas and hopefully it has rippled over into yours. I encourage you to put in the effort to show another person one small act of kindness. I know at times that can seem like a great challenge and if that is to much to bear. Start by showing yourself one small act of kindness and let that ripple. 

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