Over seven billion smiles - Bethan's story
Bethan is 18 years old and lives with her dad in a rural village where she grew up in North Wales. Before COVID-19 she worked at her local pub. In the future, she hopes to own the family caravan park and pursue a career in mental health.
Here Bethan shares her experiences of kindness and the difference it makes to her mental health:
Kindness is the thing you do to make someone smile, it can make the difference between a good and bad day. You show kindness in the hope it will make someone a little bit happier and to show you care. It is also something you feel when someone does something to make you smile.
Kindness is easy
Kindness is easy to give; it is a way of life which a lot people may be brought up with. Even though doing an act of kindness face to face might be hard right now, you can still find other ways to be kind:
you could put up rainbows or drawings in your windows to make the world brighter
you could clap for the NHS and be grateful for what you have
you could check up on your friends and family, whether it's just a text, a call or even Skype
Kindness is something we can all do, by making someone smile, or just feel the slightest bit better.
The difference kindness has made in my life
After a breakdown in school, my head of year was there constantly. I missed around two weeks of school and she helped me catch up and made me a cup of tea whenever I needed it. We also had a code word for when I really needed a chat. This made me realise that people were there for me.
Other people's kindness towards me gives me reassurance that I'm not alone. Giving kindness to other people shows that I'm there for them, and I know they know this. It makes me feel more secure, and less frightened of the world.
How we can all make the world a kinder place
Have a two-hour rule:
you should try make someone smile at least every two hours
you should expect nothing back, because then you feel the kindness more when you receive it
you should try and put a smile on your face, for you and others
And lastly, know it is okay to have bad days, we all have them
“So, if we tried just a little bit more, smile once more a year, hold open one more door, we could make the world a kinder place. Because one smile a day, from every person, is over seven billion smiles.”