Think of all the times you’ve been in a stressful situation. Maybe your car broke down, or you needed medical help. Maybe it was something as simple as someone letting you in line ahead of them at a checkout lane, seeing you with two cranky toddlers and a harried look on your face.
Most of the time it’s a stranger who steps in to help, someone we might never see again. Someone who just made our day a little (or a lot) easier.
We sometimes forget it's not an ugly world out there, that overall, we are inherently good people. For me, over these past weeks, I’ve received endless help from fellow women fiction writers that I’ve never even met (yet.) And every day it amazes me that these women, busy with their own writing careers, take the time out to help me, and others, who are just getting started.
We hear the term ‘pay it forward’ a lot. And I understand why. When people go out of their way to help us, with no ulterior motive or expectations of getting anything in return, it gives us such a warm fuzzy that you can’t help but want to share it with the next person.
We see it happen on the news every day and, especially, recently in Boston. Some gestures are life-saving (as those were), and some, like the women authors helping me, save us emotionally.
If (when) I get my book published (a book which happens to focus on my main character reaching out for help from strangers, and receiving it tenfold), I will have a long list of women to thank, women I have yet to meet face-to-face. Women who were there for me when I needed a helping hand. Something that happens every day in the world around us. Which truly is the kindness of strangers.