The Little Things | Stories from Sahara in Honour of World Kindness Day
“Kindness is like snow- It beautifies everything it covers.” – Kahlil Gibran
November 13th is world kindness day. It might seem like an unassuming day – you may not even have known that it has been marked for such a simple ideal, but we think we can all agree that this year it is timely. It’s been a hard year for all of us. In different ways and to varying degrees, this global pandemic has ripped through our way of living and forged a new reality in its wake that still feels far from comfortable. Against such an overwhelming force of nature and science, it is easy to feel powerless as agents of our own positive change. It is on this point that we at Sahara make our stand.
You see, much like all journeys begin with a single step, a single act of kindness can cut through the fog of uncertainty and relentless news (don’t worry, we are addicted to it too) and feel like warm sunshine on an upturned face. These little gestures have had the power to change our perspectives completely and offer relief in challenging times. Contrary to the falsehood that we Brits are preoccupied with the stiffness of our upper lips, this year has exposed an undercurrent of empathy and depth of feeling to be found if one only lightly scratches the surface, and Covid-19 has done a lot more than scratch. While to some kindness can have the connotation that someone has a softer personality type, that is simply not the case. Being kind often requires courage and strength and, as you will read below, our community possesses this in abundance. We asked around the Sahara HQ for stories of kindness that stood out and bring memories of love, joy and appreciation. We’ve been the recipients of such acts and now would like to lift your day with our personal stories. We hope to pay it forward and encourage readers to take some time to write down any kind moments you treasure and even make your own small gestures. As we all know, it really is the little things in life…
Nicola, Senior Garment Technologist
This is a story of unintended kindness, but it shows the kindness that the universe can bring… My mum passed away 2 years ago, and my dad went into a nursing home. When they were together, they loved talking about food and what they were going to have for dinner each night.
This week I was on a walk with my husband and the dogs and we passed an old couple just doing that – discussing what’s for dinner tonight, and it brought a lump to my throat.
On the same road a few doors down, a gentleman was putting out cookery books to give away after having a clear-out. The cookbook that caught my eye was called ‘Mother and daughter’. So, of course, I picked up the book and looked up to the sky and said:
“Thanks, Mum, Love you”
Lara, Assistant Buyer
During the first lockdown, we did a dinner swap with the flat upstairs. One Friday night they made us an Indian meal and left it outside our front door...the following Friday we made them a meal with wine and desserts! It was a lot of fun and was really lovely to do something for each other during lockdown!
Just before the national restrictions began again, I made plans to meet a friend for one last walk and chat. She showed up with a little bouquet of flowers to brighten up my flat during lockdown. It was a simple gesture, but it felt thoughtful and special to get flowers from a friend. I loved having some “nature” to look at on my commute from bed to living room.
Carol, Finance Manager
My youngest son surprised me with my favourite Lola’s cupcake which he bought on the way home from school as a Friday treat.
Paulina, Human Resources Manager
The year 2020 has had many down points and has been a challenge for us all. It’s with the challenges that we see the smaller pleasures and gestures of kindness for what they are, without the noise & distraction from every day outside life. I am originally from Poland and not being able to travel back to see loved ones hasn’t been easy. I rely on phone and video calls more than ever to feel connected. My best friend surprised me with a set of beautiful coffee cups, of which we had matching. So now we have a ritual of chatting over zoom, drinking from the same coffee cups so we don’t feel so apart. It’s a small gesture that makes me feel like I’m home again and made me so grateful to have such a thoughtful friend in my life.
Hilary, Creative Stylist
Becoming a new mother has shown more kindness than I have ever known, and maybe I’m in a space where I really value those gestures more than ever. I had friends send me food parcels throughout the first months of having my little girl, something I had never thought about – having time to feed yourself! A friend also gave me a book that helped me so much in the early months of motherhood, it blew me away. Since then I have passed the book on along with food vouchers to new parents so they can order in dinner on a night with a newborn. My NCT group is always doing small acts of support for each other. It’s been really a lovely journey.
Nicole, Senior Designer
Penny our designer bringing our team the most delicious home-grown butternuts and fresh eggs from her chickens, all the way up from Kent, a two-hour train journey… and they were delicious!
Also, getting tea brought to me in bed every morning by my honey still warms my heart!
Irena, Marketing Manager
During these recent times, it’s been a realisation of the friends who are there for you, and who you seek solace from. During the lockdown, I had a big birthday, and since I’m not one for birthdays anyway, I didn’t think I would feel as alone as I did. Just before we were back into another lockdown, I thought I was going out for a quiet dinner, but my two lovely friends surprised me with the most magical evening at home with a Mexican themed dinner party. They had dressed the room in fabulous birthday style and greeted me with a margarita cocktail. The thought and effort really touched me, just at a time when I needed it most.
Nicole, E-Commerce Manager
I find kindness in strangers when fellow commuters recognise that you’ve simply had a longer day than they have, surrendering their seat to you. The gesture always fills me with love - even if I’m too British to accept the seat!
Vic, Sahara Director
We have, on behalf of Sahara, been working closely with the environmental organisation Gaia Foundation to help support crucial projects. The Ashaninka peoples in Peru were getting very concerned with the spread of this Coronavirus in their territory and remote forest locations and did not have the means to make urgent contact for help. They appealed for a satellite phone which was purchased for them by Sahara.