Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Born This Way Foundation Reporters, Lady Gaga
Format: Audiobook provided by Libro, ebook provided by Fierce Reads
Top 3 Genres: Non fiction, Short stories, Contemporary
My rating: Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book: Libro**•CA • US • Bookdep
Add to: Goodreads
Hey bookdragons! Things are getting personal today! As I wanted to share about Channel Kindness today, I thought it would be …funnier to share with you a kindness story, as it is not really the kind of book you review. This book gathers all kind of stories of kindness, from a large variety of people (including people of color, disabled people and queer people which was really great!), and kind of reminds us that kindness does exist and we can be a part of it! And so, I wanted to add my stone to the construction and share with you a personal kindess story!
For Lady Gaga, kindness is the driving force behind everything she says and does.The quiet power of kindness can change the way we view one another, our communities, and even ourselves. She embodies this mission, and through her work, brings more kindness into our world every single day.
Lady Gaga has always believed in the importance of being yourself, being kind to yourself, and being kind to others, no matter who they are or where they come from. With that sentiment in mind, she and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, founded Born This Way Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a kinder and braver place. Through the years, they’ve collected stories of kindness, bravery and resilience from young people all over the world, proving that kindness truly is the universal language. And now, we invite you to read these stories and follow along as each and every young author finds their voice just as Lady Gaga has found hers.
Kindness and online strangers
Once upon a time… or more like a bit over 6 years ago, I was arriving in Canada. My partner came with me when I settled, but then went back to France, and so I was alone in this country across the ocean. It was scary and thrilling, and I knew I wanted to be here, but it was hard too. Namely financially.
The year I arrived in Canada, the fees for the school I was attending went up for French student, which I had not planned for, and all my savings went into paying my 3 years of school. On the side, I was working little jobs to pay my rent and food. I know this is the situation of a lot of people, and that a lot have it worse than me too. I didn’t have to make a loan, I had a warm bed, I had enough to eat, I had the Internet. But it was still hard, to every month, have just what I needed, to always say no to classmates wanting to go somewhere and do something, because any activity I could do that cost me something would stress me for days. I think being without my family and friends added to that and so, even if like I say my situation was far from catastrophic, I remember now this time as super stressful and worrisome.
And then, my phone broke. And it was the main way I had to communicate with my family (yes, we had Skype, but not all my family is tech savy or knows how to use a computer). It isolated me even more than I felt already, like I was completely cut from my loved ones. I did not really have the money for a new phone, without having to withdraw it from somewhere else it was needed.
I remember crying and feeling like this stress added to all the stress I was already feeling (starting a new life in Canada alone, getting back to studying, having just the money I needed monthly). I think you don’t really get how hard it is to start over so far from home, unless you live it. So I didn’t need that kind of added stress.
I am not sure why then, but I made a post about it on Tumblr ( 5 years ago, I was a lot of tumblr, that’s another life now haha), offering people an art service (creativity is Tumblr’s fuel) in exchange for donation to make a new phone. And that’s when I witnessed how many kind people are out there. Because I didn’t think much would come out of this post, but actually so many people participated and sent me kind messages about my situation, emotional support.
Some donated in exchange of the art service, other just told me they donated but didn’t want anything in exchange, saying they had been in a difficult situation and were happy they could help now. Someone even offered to send me their old phone, and I was not sure I could trust this at first, but they did! I received that phone a few days later, and for a few months (before it died, like I said it was old, I swear it’s not me having a magical killing phone power) I used it.
In a very short amount of time, I also had the money to buy a new one, thanks to all the donations and support I received from these strangers online. I didn’t know them, they knew me from online only, I could have been a scam or anything, but no, these people proved that kindness was there, very present, and they used it without a second thought to help me, as trivial as my issue was compared to others. It has been over 5 years now, and I still remember so well all the feeling of incredulity and gratitude I felt toward all these people who helped me in a time where I mentally was in a bad place. And today, writing this, I am still so grateful.
Now, I am in a better position, and I try when I can to choose kindness. But, in our daily life, we can sometimes forget to choose kindness, so I am glad this book was here to remind me that yes, kindness is a purposeful choice, and I should never forget to make it!
Another beautiful thing came out of this event: I met someone I consider one of my best friends! She messaged me on tumblr when I posted this message, saying that she couldn’t help financially with the phone, but if I ever needed a hot meal, I could come to her place (I swear I have tears in my eyes just thinking of this message). We talked a bit, and a few weeks later, I met her and her wife. That was around 5 years ago. Now, years later, we had countless afternoons chatting and watching youtube, we had trivia nights with our partners, homecooked meals at each other’s place, and we talk daily! She is one of my dearest friends, with her wife, and I hope they know that if they ever need anything, I will be there. So thank you phone for breaking!
Pfffiou, that was long, I have no idea what you’ll think of it, depending of what you lived through, I’m sure this can feel like nothing, but I hope you can at least take from it that small acts of kindness do make a huge difference in people’s life, even if you feel like it’s not much, you never know the ripples it can cause. So, be kind 😉
And let me know your own kindness story in the comments!
See you for a cup,
** referal link, if you use it you get one book for free 🙂