How an act of Christmas kindness taught me to be less judgemental – Hayley Matthews

Hayley Matthews thought she know how the scene in front of her at Meadowbank Retail Park would play out. She was wrong.

Saturday, 4th January 2020, 6:00 am
A pair of Big Isssue sellers enjoyed an unexpected Christmas bonus. Picture: John Devlin

I saw a little reminder to never judge and always be kind to others recently when shopping at Meadowbank Retail Park.

Judging is something we all do regardless of how hard we try not to, although some tend to judge more than others. But even so, kindness is something that everyone can do.

I do try not to judge and be kind but that old cynic in me creeps in every now and then. I know the Christmas period is well out of the way (my Christmas tree was thrown out on Boxing Day as I discovered the cats had been using it as a spraying station) but the message of helping others still resonates.

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Never have I witnessed kindness more than on seeing a very smartly dressed young woman in a bright yellow coat as she walked towards the female big issue seller outside Sainsbury’s. I remember thinking to myself “she won’t buy one” and what she did shocked me! She walked up to the female seller, gave her a £10 note whilst hugging her dearly. She asked her about her family and how everyone was getting on, she was a little angel.

It reminded me, never judge, always be kind and be generous. So I did. That evening I gave our Big Issue seller a tenner, it was Christmas Eve and she then started singing out loud with joy. Kindness is wonderful – let’s keep it going in to 2020.