Let’s Try Kindness Therapy – #ItsTimeToChange

By Yousra Mateen

Recently I was talking to a classmate who mentioned how a girl in university was distributing chocolates to everyone, so my classmate asked why she was doing it; was it a part of a project? Or was it her birthday? So this girl who was distributing chocolates smiled and said, she was doing that because it was the World Kindness Day. We were all a little surprised first and actually contemplated on how there are these angelic sort of people who exist who distribute chocolates because they want to be kind but then appreciated how it was a good gesture and later the conversation moved on to other topics.

Later that day, I was thinking about how there was actually a day dedicated to being kind and sat down to research on it. Initially the old weird negative approach we hold towards “Hallmark Holidays” was the first thing which came to my mind, that there shouldn’t be one day for kindness, everyday should be a day of kindness but then I brushed through that thought and eventually found out that this year, the world kindness day was celebrated globally on the 13th November. The day was first initiated by the World Kindness Movement, which is a group of NGO’s working in different countries. It is mainly propagated by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation but is now rapidly gaining popularity worldwide where people are actually taking up small acts of kindness and compassion and sharing them on the social networking sites.

Even though we shouldn’t need a day particularly to be kind, and carry on everyday but maybe by initiating and forcing ourselves to be caring that one day instigate the feeling of contentment we get from being compassionate and eventually continue carrying out random acts of kindness for the rest of the year. Some of these acts actually outline our personality too in the long run as we are usually defined by our actions. There are various ways through which we can adopt to show random acts of kindness. It isn’t just restricting to giving charity or giving out candies but way beyond it. Even in simple things in life like holding doors and saying thank you and giving out hugs to people you know will feel comforted from it. It isn’t just making an old man cross a road; it is also removing that big stone on the path or offering to hold an extra bag for a friend. Not just giving your seat to elderly or disabled or pregnant, but also putting your shopping cart back in place and writing a small motivating text message and sending it to someone who really needs it at that point in life. Hence, kindness doesn’t have any form of boundaries; it can range on all levels and at all levels is equally appreciated. A very small positive gesture can make someone’s day a little better!

Let’s take out time, change ourselves and change someone else’s life positively.



Exams, Egregious or Excellent?

After a 3-day after-exam holiday, here I am with my Monday blues and to-dos. But while I am on the way to the university, I can actually tell you all how much I find exams amazing and people around, amusing. I, unlike others, like the thrill of exams. Not because I’m an overconfident git and have a bring-it-on-buddy attitude, but because they make those few weeks of university different; action-packed.

A day before exam, I love watching the battle of my mind and heart where my mind, wearing a halo, gives me every logical reason of why studying at least today is crucial and my heart; well, it just does not feel like studying. 😀

Here’s a sneak peak of how I study. Since no preparation for exam has been done prior to that day, I become a crisis manager and allocate one hour to each chapter (e.g. 4 hours to 4 chapters). Then all of a sudden, I start missing my relatives and long-lost friends so I make calls to them otherwise their memories will keep distracting me from my studies. In the meantime, another tragedy hits me and all of my favorite shows start playing on TV. So I resist my temptation and watch only a couple of them, not all of them. Its then that I realize that I’ll need to decrease the time allocated to each chapter. So it becomes half an hour for each and then I seriously start studying. But it’s important for a healthy person to get proper sleep too. So I keep the books aside and go to sleep early with a challenge in mind, a deadline in head and a wish in heart.


When I enter the university the next day, I see mind-numbing scenarios. Geeks with headings, sub-headings and bullet points of every topic crammed, girls who seem they’ll drop dead anytime because they’ve spent a sleepless night studying all the time, guys with unshaven beards and alphabets ready-to-overflow from their head (as if they’ll puke out all the crammed material). I’m so absorbed in this dramatic scene when my phone vibrates and I read MQ’s text message:

“I am scared of people who study a lot. They have so much of information stored in their brains that there is no space left for common sense!”
Haha! And I laugh out loud.
MQ is one of those introverts who talks less but witty.


A night before exam, my dad goes to a relative’s place and just when she starts bragging about her daughter studying day and night, my dad says, “My daughter studied for only an hour and was ranting on internet after that.” 😐

I get mad after I hear he said that. But then, I know he thinks I’ll manage 🙂 so, all good!

As with all matters of the heart, you just know when you can do it!


At last, that ahaa moment when the exams are finally over. That awesome moment when a friend greets “happy freedom” is priceless and makes adrenaline rush through the systems.


See. The point here is not that I want to insult or underestimate anybody. Everyone has their own way of studying, it’s theirs. I just believe they should enjoy their life more otherwise when they’ll turn the pages of life to see the past, they’ll find nothing but multiple regression and hawthorn effect.

Mel Shwartz says “Perfection is not natural and cannot be obtained. The irony is that the closest thing to perfection is in being able to be present in the moment, which the perfectionist never attains.”

I have seen people change, improve, testify against the odds and play it right when they know the time is right. Don’t run after perfection, study less, enjoy life!


The story of a heart

This is a real story of a very close friend, Sally, who wants the story to reach across to many people but doesn’t want her name to be disclosed. So here I am, writing not only for this friend of mine, but for the majority of youth who fall in love in very young age and lose track.

She could feel her voice gone, no words came out of her mouth and she just awed in that moment of perfection. It was Sally holding hands with Harry. Harry was tall, smart, spectacle-wearing cousin of hers who had proposed the very young, pretty and petite Sally 4 months ago. Harry had an unsuccessful affair before Sally came in his life but it was all a novel experience for Sally, an experience she was not going to forget the whole life. She did have a few crushes before him, all of which got crushed after a week or two but this guy, she didn’t know, was going to have a lasting impact on her life. The first time Harry said those three magical words to her, she felt that indescribable tingling feeling; the feeling of being the most beautiful, the feeling who said “yes he is the one for me”, and the feeling of common sense leaving her body. She was so overwhelmed with what had happened that she forgot all her values, her attitude and said YES to him.


Four months later, Sally visited Harry’s place with her family and met him after a long time. Sally’s family knew about how she was infatuated with him and Harry’s family was also aware of his liking towards Sally. Both the families stayed together for a week and both of them (Sally in particular) had the time of their lives.

One morning, Sally was still in bed when she overheard her family talking about how Harry’s family didn’t accept Sally as part of their family and didn’t want to extend their relationship. Sally heard all this and the fantasy bubble of her life burst there and then. She cried in the blanket for hours and didn’t want to get out of the bed. When her family found her crying, they didn’t know what had happened to her. They asked her but she couldn’t explain the loss. She just told them that she had heard them talking and realised that this relation wasn’t going to work. When she met Harry that day with swollen red eyes, he was totally unaware of what had happened. He asked Sally many times but she remained quiet. She knew that the battle could not be fought without allies; the battle was lost.

A few days later, Sally told Harry what had happened, expecting him to change the scenario. But Harry, being dependent on his family, could not take a stand for Sally. So they decided to close the chapter and prepared their mind to move on.

Today, Sally is happily settled with a person of her choice, her second love maybe. Harry is busy in his own balanced life; work and family. When I asked Sally why she wanted me to write her story, she said,

“I want your readers to know 3 things.

First, choose someone after knowing the feasibility of a long-term relation with him. You gotta see if your family, your culture, your lifestyle is open enough to accept that choice of yours. Your choice need not be from the same background since that would become an ideal situation, but both families, cultures, lifestyles should at least be accepting each other’s differences.

Second, don’t give hopes to anyone if you’re not able to take a stand for them. That applies to both girls and boys. If you think you won’t be able to take the relation till the last step, don’t even start it.

Third and most important, life goes on! No matter what happens, God has given us the willpower to make a way out of it. They say time is the best healer, I totally agree. When Harry and I broke up, I cried for many months, I thought the world has ended, I thought I’d never love anyone again. But when God empties your hand by taking one thing, he fills it with another. And surely God’s options are better than ours.”

With this answer, we reached the end of the conversation. And I went to sleep thinking that at some point of life, you have to be aware that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.