The Power of Random Acts of Kindness

James Ouma
Posted February 19, 2016 from Kenya

Today I have woken up with a splitting headache that isn't as a result of being sick. After walking in the hot sun, with a load on my back for close to 300 minutes this week, I can confidently say that my headache isn't because I am sick. The sun and the long walks have taken their toll on me and I need a much deserved rest. But that seldom happens to me. I have a meeting, which I can’t postpone, with a volunteer who would like to work with Lifesong Kenya this year.

Lifesong Kenya's work is very simple. What could be complicated where using buttons is concerned? But you see, using buttons isn't an end in itself. It is just the beginning because when the last sewing thread has been stitched on a button, a lot remains that needs to be taken care of. The children we work with need books, clothes, school fees and lunch money. I am not ignorant about that fact. I do what I can when I am able to. Most of the times, I just sew buttons and it gives me satisfaction and the courage to keep moving towards my big goal, which is empowering children and young people to discover the treasure that is deep within them. I believe that every person has the capability to live a meaningful life that is full of purpose. It is one child at a time.

As a full time volunteer for Lifesong Kenya, I have to sleep late at night and wake up in the wee hours of the morning in order to look for online writing jobs. This is the only way I am able to work 9-5 as a volunteer. Since my writing isn't earning me an income right now, I have to walk, for at least 300 minutes in a week.

Yesterday, something happened that gives me the satisfaction that my work, sacrifice and effort isn't in vain. A group of students from Oshwal Academy visited and participated in Lifesong Kenya's community service at one of our schools. It was the first time the students were sorting out beans, maize, rice and sewing buttons. It was a rare opportunity for our children to come in direct contact with the kind of students they normally see pass by in a 'flashy' school bus, shopping malls in town as well as on Indian movies on TV. It was also an opportunity for the visiting students to learn that global human need for love, acceptance and random act of kindness.

The beautiful smiles from both groups of students and a simple whispered word of 'thank you' makes up for the effort and sacrifice we put behind every random act of kindness. I know how much Lifesong Kenya will be able to do when we finally get financial support and resources for our work. In the meantime, I will keep hoping that someone will give me an extra button and take care of my bus fare so I don't have to walk more than is necessary.

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