I wake up with the Curry’s. Shower, pack and in to the kitchen for brekky with the family. Eggs on toast it is. I quickly play with Jack and Alice before saying goodbye. Jack is dressed up as a farmer and I ask why. I find out that it’s dress up day at school. You have to dress up as what you want to be when you are older. Jack tells me that he already is a farmer; he collects the eggs from the chickens in the backyard every day. The kid is seriously cool.
I say goodbye to the kids and Andy. Andy has made me a coffee and it is waiting in the car that Sal is driving me to Mulwaree High School in. I say goodbye and again I feel like I can’t express how grateful I am to the entire family for having me in their home.
On to the high school and straight in to the assembly hall. I meet some teachers very quickly and get myself ready to present a keynote presentation to the kids. I’ve done a fair bit of speaking in schools and corporate organisations so this isn’t new for me. I enjoy spreading the message that I do.
The kids respond well and I figure out very quickly how to do selfies the proper way. I’m asked all sorts of questions which are welcome. At least twenty of the students stay back to talk to me separately. They are lovely kids and all of them promise to go out and log their acts of kindness on my website www.kindnessfactory.com. I’m thrilled to hear this from them.
Sal then takes me on to Goulburn East Primary school where I talk to the entire school about how we can incorporate more kindness in to our own lives, and the lives of others. They come up with some great ideas; helping someone to read, being respectful, being courteous, using good manners, thanking their teachers at the end of each day, helping out their siblings. I end the presentation by opening the room up to questions. The usual questions are asked, how did you break your back, what was it like playing cricket, how long has the kindnessfactory been around etc. I laugh when one girl asks if I’m a vegetarian and the next girls asks if I have allergies. I love kids.
Sal picks me up after teaching a class in between drop offs. She takes me to the local café, orders and pays for my lunch and I sit down to gather myself for the first time in 4 days. We chat some more about kids, kindness and about how simple life can be if we just choose happiness and when we are good to each other.
I’m picked up in the afternoon by Damien. I don’t know him at first but after he heard I needed to get from Goulburn to Kiama today, he offered to pick me up. Aside from the petrol and car expenses, this is about 5 hours out of the man’s day; it’s generous, I’m grateful.
We introduce ourselves on the side of the road. He introduces himself as Damien but I immediately say g’day Damo. We’re mates. This dude is seriously fit looking. I ask him if he works out; he’s a cross fitter and you can tell. He doesn’t really know much about what I’m doing which surprises me given what he is doing for me. He tells me that Kellie, a friend of his saw my story and heard that I may need a lift. She knew Damo had the day off so she got in touch and told him there was a woman who needed a ride, could he help? Without hesitation he said yes without knowing a thing about me.
People are so good.
He asks me what I’m doing, I tell him about Kindnessfactory and what this journey is doing for me. He tells me about his life. It hasn’t always been easy, that’s why he likes doing things like this. He says you never know what anyone is going through so it’s good to help people out when you can.
We talk about how we are both terrible at meditation but how we keep trying anyway. We know it’s good for us but it’s a hard art to master. He tells me to stick at it, it gets a little easier. I promise I will. We find out that we are pretty similar in a lot of different ways. We both like fitness, having a laugh and listening to TED X talks. I recommend a few of my favourites and so does he.
The drive is about 2 hours’ worth but we never really had a moments silence. He drops me at Leanne and Jo’s and we promise to stay in touch. He tells me that he won’t come to Sydney but anytime I’m in Kiama I’m welcome at his house. He also promises to reactivate his Facebook account so that he can follow my journey closer. The bloke is a legend in my eyes.
I’m welcomed in to Jo and Leanne’s home in Shellharbour. Leanne gives me a hug and a beer at the door and we sit down for a while to chat. I excuse myself to my room for a minute and check my phone quickly. I’m pleased to see over 30 emails from the students at Mulwaree High where I spoke at earlier that day. They are messages of thanks, well wishes and even some kids wanting to donate to my cause. I gratefully decline their offers of cash and anything else but ask them to log their acts of kindness on our website instead. They promise me they will. I’m pleased that I made a positive difference to these kids. It means a lot to me.
Jo has arrived after having his boat repaired in Sydney during the day. he’s a keen fisherman and Leanna has a fish in the oven that was caught by him on Sunday. We sit down for Dinner and I fill them in on the KF journey so far. We laugh a lot and it’s a great change of pace to sit and watch some of the Olympics with them on the TV later that night.
We chat some more, have a cup of tea and head off to bed before another big day in the morning. Breakfast with Jo and Leanne, then I’m off to Kiama to help at the scout hall who feed the homeless every Tuesday. Lunch is on the crew at Wave FM who have also put me up at the Wollongong Novotel for the night. The world is a beautiful place. I hope you’re feeling that as much as me.
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