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by Kate Finlay 4 min read

This week, we're featuring Claire Marie - a Vancouver based graphic designerwho believes in paying it forward and that even the smallest gesture can create a ripple effect of kindness.

What is your life motto?

Growing up I was always taught to treat others how I would want to be treated. This was very important to our family and it has really stuck with me throughout my life. Anytime I'm in a tough situation where I want my anger to get the best of me and I just want to be petty so I feel better, I take a few deep breathes and think about if I was in the other's shoes and I realize that I wouldn't feel very good if they would do the same to me. There are times where I really have to be the bigger person in these situations but I know a lack of kindness won't get me very far in life. It's such a simple rule to live by but it will take you so far.

 

Why do you think the world needs more kindness?

We live in such a fast paced world that we always forget to be kind. We are constantly running from one place to the next without thinking about the people that surround us. As population and technology grows our connection with people dwindles. Not to sound rude but people are so self absorbed now (and yes, that includes myself at times), but small random acts of kindness can go so far in reconnecting us to each other and remind us we are more than a profile. More than a number on a screen. More than just someone walking past us on the street.

 

Tell us a story about a time a stranger was kind to you

Now tis story is somewhat embarrassing, because I gave into being a judgemental mindset, but it has made a big impact on me and I won't ever forget it. One day a friend and I were just hanging out and playing dance games on the xbox. We decided we needed some juice and snacks to go along with our evening so we drove down to our local superstore. As we were shopping somewhat late at night we noticed some interesting characters around the store. One person in particular caught our attention. My friend whispers to me that they look like they came out of the people of Walmart website. Now normally I have a compassionate heart and generally stand up for these types of people, but getting caught up in the moment I laughed and agreed with my friend. We did the rest of our late night snack shopping and ended up right behind that particular person at the checkout line. The stranger pointed to our items and said "Hey, these are actually a lot cheaper at Walmart". ,My friend darted his eyes to me like "I told you! I was right!". We had a pleasant conversation in the brief time it took the cashier to ring in their items. The gentleman stood at the end of the checkout as we were ringing in ours and at the end the stranger paid for our bill. He said have a great day and he just disappeared. We barely had time to thank him. We were astounded by the kindness as we assumed by his looks he couldn't afford much and that he was somewhat weird. This has so many lessons in it, from not judging someone on their appearance but also you the most kind people are where you least expect it. There was no mention of us not having the means to pay for our bill, or the lack of means of the other. He just did a random act of kindness to us and I honestly will never forget it. It was the universes way of proving me wrong and I will never allow myself to compromise my moral standards just for a good laugh again.

 

How do you try to bring more kindness into the world?

I am a quite giving person, and sometimes it can end up costing me, but when I see the difference my kindness makes it really warms my heart. I am a graphic designer and I own my own business. I have a lot of branding inquiries, especially from young entrepreneurs. Now, if you don't know, graphic design and especially branding can be extremely expensive. It requires a lot of hardware and software, knowledge, and creativity to even get started on a project. It never comes as surprise to me when people either send me an email back saying my prices are just too high, or I just never get a reply back at all. When I see the potential someone has combined with a hard work ethic, I am more than happy to do their work within their budget. Sometimes it's nothing and sometimes its even just a little bit of the original quote. I see how happy and empowered they feel when I give them their dreams to help make their business become a successful one and there's nothing better than that feeling. A fun little act of kindness I also like to do is I like to buy the coffee for the person in line just behind me. Its such a small act and can cost as little as $2 but it can make a person's whole day, and sometimes week! Its so easy to be just the little bit generous and to buy someone a coffee, and the best thing is when it creates a chain reaction. The smallest gesture can reach so many people. 

 

Instagram: @clairemarie_t

Business Website: wolfandpinecreative.com

Kate Finlay
Kate Finlay


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