Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kindness

Meet my friend Beth.

Beth is a lot of things: Sister, daughter, community activist, fiery redhead. Beth is one of those people who knows everybody, and everybody knows her. When I first met her in person at the second Cromer's Food Truck Food Court she not only remembered me from Twitter (she has over two thousand followers as I write this, and yet placed me immediately) but introduced me to so many really interesting people (people we call "Famously Hot Twitterati"). After speaking with her she all-around confirmed my all-around impression of her from twitter as a fun and genuinely nice person.

So yeah, she's nice, but that's not why I'm writing about her today. I mean it is, but it's more than just "she's nice". Beth has had a rough 2012, and the end of 2011 wasn't so good to her, either. BFD kinds of roughness, not just "bad hair day" (which I don't think she has, being a natural redhead AND natural Curly Sue) kinds of rough. The kinds of roughness where close family loved ones are lost (of both the two- and four-legged variety) and jobs are changed, among other kinds of things. I'm not going to go into too much detail, because those aren't my stories to tell.

The story I have to tell is this one: We both attended ConvergeSE last month, and it's seeing her there which has stuck with me. I made a mental note beforehand to locate and speak with her, because I felt not-so-great about not checking in on her, lately. I wanted to to tell her that I had been thinking of her and her sister, and ask how they have been holding up.

Except Beth came up to me, and she asked how I'm doing. She apologized - to me! - for not inquiring about my healing progress more often (I fell at work in March, and had a pretty nasty injury) and told me that she thinks of me often.

Well blow me down, Internets. I was so touched. I'm still touched. I couldn't - can't - quite get over it. My bumps and bruises don't even register on my comparative concern scale, but there she was, genuinely caring. Genuinely concerned.

I'm not doing the best job making words about this, but I wanted to make record of it, because I learned a lot of things that day, at that conference, but one of the biggest lessons I learned is what kindness in action looks like.

It looks like Beth.