Despite the positivity we try so desperately to spread, there is a great deal of girl-on-girl crime in the world. Unfortunately, our judgement of one another often spans generations, demographics and age groups. While it is a difficult realization, we must admit that women, for numerous reasons, are the greatest culprits of verbal abuse against their own gender, their peers. However, it is usually in our darkest hour that someone comes along to shed a light and sometimes, that beacon of hope comes from the most unexpected place.
If you’ve seen one bathroom stall, you’ve seen them all, right? As women squat ever so carefully, delicately hovering over the porcelain, putting balance to the test to ensure physical contact is avoided at all costs, they tend to catch a glance of the scribbles and admissions on the wall. Inevitably, a prior patron has claimed herself or someone else a “good time,” complete with phone number for proof while declarations of love prove to be just as popular. Other favored potty proclamations include ensuring all other users of the stall know that “Amy Was Here!” or worse, hateful speech that restroom goers feel the need to make public. In the midst of all this mess, there may even be the occasional admission of self-loathing or cry for help. What women rarely see, among the sharpied “sluts” of the bathroom world, is positive reinforcement that they are worthy, strong, brave and loved. Few women, if any, expect to go into the ladies room and come out realizing somebody cares about them. Until now.
In a true act of sincere kindness, one that was almost certainly done without a single hope for recognition, a woman took care of more than her business when she visited the restroom and witnessed the writing on the wall. Not only did she actually read the cries for help, she answered with a letter that looked hateful speech and judgement in the eye and screamed “Kindness was here!”
This particular stall had seemingly become a confessional of sorts, filled with admissions of rape, eating disorders, alcoholism and tragic life events. Rather than turn a blind eye, one amazing woman took it upon herself to offer the only thing she could: a kind word.
To the girl who was raped: You are so strong. I cannot fathom the pain you must have gone through. The fact that you have the bravery to write it (even on a bathroom wall) gives me hope.
To the girl with the eating disorders: I promise you, although I don’t know you, you are beautiful, you deserve your health. You deserve freedom from that hell.
To the girl with the alcoholic father: I am so sorry for the agony it must cause. Again, such courage is remarkable, you must be such a strong person to see such pain.
To the girl whose father died: Missing them never goes away. The ache of their absence never goes away. But, the love they had, the memories you share surely must last. I am sure, out of the bottom of my heart, the people who have left you in this world are exceptionally proud of the person you are.
Finally, after addressing specific writings, this incredible individual decided to leave a little love for all past and future patrons who just may need a divine intervention in their day by writing:
To all of you (including those I did not mention and those who have not yet written):
-You are worthy.
-You are strong.
-You are brave.
-You are loved.
Wow. It certainly takes a moment for the power of these words, this act of kindness, to sink in. While this note left on the bathroom stall is a small gesture, its’ impact is more powerful than that of an entire bathroom of negativity and hateful speech. In a world where we often find people using their words to break others down, it is uplifting to see how powerful it can be when even one person offers a kind word, helps us to become better for one another.
So, to the anonymous author of this heartfelt message: You have reminded us all of the positive impact we can have by simply showing a little compassion. Your letter proves that the power of positive speech outweighs the ugliness of hateful speech if we let it. You are the epitome of the kindness the world needs to continue to uncover. We have read your writings on the wall and we thank you for them.
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