Posted in Life

On Kindness: Bad Menstrual Cramps Day and the Man Who Refused to Help Me.

Today, I’m going to do a quick throwback to that one time menstrual cramps almost killed me. I’m not exaggerating, guys. The pain was ex-cru-ci-a-ting!

For those of you who don’t know, menstrual cramps is not stomach ache. It’s like a full-blown illness when it starts, with every single part of your body in pains. I rarely have it, which is why some months ago when I did, it totally ruined my entire morning.

It started in the bus while I was on my way to work and an uncomfortable me thought the pain was that much because I was sitting. If I stood up maybe, it would reduce.

When I eventually got down however, the pain did not seize. If anything, it was worse. My legs even started to shake. This was at Ikeja Along and I needed to climb the overhead bridge. I almost couldn’t. Had to hold the railings for support and stop once in a while to rest. At this point, the pain wasn’t just affecting my stomach. It had spread to my spine and head.  I was also starting to feel very light-headed, so on getting down from the bridge, I immediately began to look for a place to sit.

Now, Ikeja Along is a very busy place. I’m sure if I had walked further, I could have found a store or even an empty bench lying around but I couldn’t, so I walked up to the first shoemaker I saw, held my stomach in my hands and sat on his bench. The man must have happily thought I came to polish my shoe, (lol) because the look he gave me when I said – “oga, I no dey polish my shoe today. I just want to sit down. I’m not feeling fine.” – is not from this earth.

Truth is, I actually knew what was at stake. His bench was long enough to only accommodate two people, so the longer I sat there, the more customers he was losing. I knew that – but I was in so much pain guys. All I needed was a little kindness and the man said, no.

At this point, I can almost hear you say “Seun, you too should have just used style to polish your shoe now.” I know, right? Unfortunately, that day was one of the very few days I actually polished my shoe from home. {Talk about everything working somehow, somehow for me that morning} Plus, I wasn’t going to sit there for a long time anyway. I just needed like 2 minutes for the pain to ease a bit and I’d be on my way but the brother said, no. His reason being that he was losing his precious customers by the minute.

I’m sure I must have looked like I was going to cry. Who cares, man? Definitely not that guy. He sent me packing just like that.

Thankfully, I got to work in one piece and that menstrual pain did not kill me but all of that experience taught me one thing: Kindness.

Think about it.

If someone beside you was thirsty and you had the last cup of water in the world, would you share?

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That question was hard for me to answer as well. In fact, it took coming to realize that I too was capable of being unkind to someone else that made me forgive that shoemaker, even though a part of me still wished he wouldn’t get any customer that day and another part had registered his face, so that I would never polish my shoes from him again. *rolling my eyes.

Still, I did try to put myself in his shoes to understand. Why would he want to share his space with a stranger, when he could be using that space to make some money?

There is only one answer to it. Kindness.

Kindness is such an abstract topic, I’m almost very uncomfortable talking about it but you see, what happened to me that day could have happened to any of us and who knows just how many people we’ve negatively impacted just because we don’t have a little kindness to give.

And guys, I’m not talking about the type of kindness that involves plenty cameras and social media. I mean, that type is good if your motives are right but for this post, I’m talking about the type without paparazzi – those random ones that show in our everyday lives like noticing a friend of yours isn’t eating lunch and offering to share yours with her.

This particular instance reminds of Rachael, a former colleague of mine at work. She had just joined the company at the time and we used to go together during lunch breaks to buy our food. On this particular day, she walked up to me and asked if I was going to buy lunch. I said no. I told her I wasn’t hungry or something but the truth really was that I was trying to manage the little amount of money I had with me and buying lunch would mean being short of transport fare back home. Rachael must have seen through me, because when she came back, she came back with two packs and she dropped one in front of me. She then said something like, “Take. That’s your food. I bought you rice and beans. Sorry the beans is small though. It wasn’t enough for two but I told the woman to share it like that.”

Gosh! Imagine what that did to me? This incident has been well over a year ago but I can still talk about it today because like Maya Angelou said ‘People will forget what you said. People will forget what you wore. People will forget somethings you did but they will never forget the way you made them feel.’

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I learnt that day that though it might cost you something, you have no idea how much impact a small act of kindness can make in some else’s life.

Though it might cost you something, You have no idea how much impact a small act of kindness can make in some else's life. Click To Tweet

I’ve also learnt that there must be some sort of balance though in the way we go about helping people in our everyday lives, which is why I’m going to leave the other things I’ve been learning about kindness as takeouts below:

1-Kindness is an act of love, which is why even when it costs you something, you give it anyway.

2-Kindness is not dependent on your social class, age, background or physical appearance. It does not have to be loud.

3-It is not an obligation. For instance, if a woman asks you to help her ‘lap’ her child inside a bus (apparently, this happens a lot in Lagos), you can say no if you don’t want to. She/other passengers might try to make you look bad for not helping, so if eventually you help, let it come from a place of love and not because they guilt-tripped you.

4-Being kind does not mean you are stupid – and this is where you have to draw the line between when to help someone and when to say no. Remember that guy I felt so bad for not helping in the bus? Turns out if I had, I would only have ended up regretting it the next day.

5-Kindness is inherently a fruit of the Spirit, meaning when you give it to other people, God is pleased with you. 🙂 This also implies that as a child of God, {in Jenifa’s voice} kindness is ‘inzide’ your nature, which means that even if someone treats you bad, you don’t have to repay him/her with an unkind thing. Like that shoemaker guy now, if I don’t polish my shoes with him again, won’t he still find customers? Exactly. So, I forgive him + it’s my shoes that needs to get polished right? right.

Here is where I’m going to stop here today. I want to hear from you too. Have you ever been treated unkindly? How did it make feel? or have you ever done something kind to someone else before? Share everything with me in the comment box below! 😊

Till later guys. Make someone’s day today. Be kind.

Love ❤,

Tirzah.

Author:

Just a simple 21 year old all out to making an impact.

2 thoughts on “On Kindness: Bad Menstrual Cramps Day and the Man Who Refused to Help Me.

  1. I have been on but sides of the divides and I have been unkind at times… Most of the time because I tell myself that I can’t afford to render that kindness in the said moment… But regrets beset me after and the window of opportunity would have closed already… Doesn’t mean am all bad or all good… Just goes to remind me that am still a work in progress… But one thing is absolutely true. Kindness, apart from being a fruit of the Spirit, is a currency, not unlike money, to be spent broadly and wisely…

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