It only takes one simple act of kindness to shape the world. During this season of change and transition, we’ve been on the receiving end of amazing and surprising acts of kindness.
At 7, this summer was C’s first year attending summer day camp. I hoped she would be productive and grow from the new experience. I prayed that the next seven weeks would be a great distraction from the transition at home; from missing her dad first thing in the morning to our daily family dinner and spontaneous weekend trips to the Science Center.
Instead, her mind would be filled with swimming twice a day, learning tennis, karate, volleyball and more. There was even the promise of Taylor Swift dance parties. (I secretly wished she might meet her best friend for life so they could shake it off together.)
The first day, as we pulled up to the red tent where we signed in, C was terrified of swim lessons, intimidated by the size of the UMBC campus (my alma mater) and still super excited for all the fun I promised her. Her counselors assured me they would not pressure her to do anything she felt uncomfortable with.
The following week, she excitedly described with lit-up, sparkly eyes how her swim instructor taught her how to float on her back and practice blowing bubbles on the top of the water.
However, one morning C had a particularly hard time leaving home and cried all the way to the car, refusing to go to camp. Her pleading cries continued through the 1.5 mile drive to the college campus. Her face red and splotchy, tears still in her eyes, C opened her door with resolve and bravery.
As she pulled on her backpack, Gary, the camp Senior Director, noticed her watery eyes and pink nose from a distance. He looked over her head and mouthed to me, “Is she okay?” I quietly shook my head and immediately, he offered his hand to C to walk with her inside. Gary talked to her all the way to the door. As they walked inside together, I noticed her look up at him with a huge smile and bright eyes. His kindness, one simple gesture, brought tears of relief to my eyes and a sense of belonging to my daughter that she will always, always remember.
Watching Gary walk with C to summer camp reminded me of the lasting impact of both receiving them and giving them. They are far-reaching ripples.
This is what simplicity means to me: Listening to the world around us helps me understand that the difference I make in one person’s life in one simple moment has the potential to bring joy, ease sadness and make another feel a little less alone. Think, if we all just make one person’s life a little easier and more joyful, the impact that can be made as the ripples spread outwards to the world.
Join me in doing something simple today for someone else — and showing them how big and caring this world really is.
Illiah Manger is the creative mind and chief designer behind C&V, where she collaborates with daring business owners with heart. She is known for creating clarity and focus while allowing her clients to co-pilot the design process. Illiah wholeheartedly believes in brands that are intimate and designed to tell a story. She is also the co-founder of Elevate & Cultivate, an online community for design professionals to strengthen their skills, get feedback on their work and make friendships stronger than Gotham Ultra.
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