This is a simple story of learning to be kind. There were no gramd gestures, no paying for someone else's groceries or a ticket for the bus - we were barely getting by ourselves. But my mother taught me every day in simple ways that everyone deserves respect, empathy and kindness. Regardless of race, or class, or gender, or sexual orientation, or physical or mental ability. She taught me that you enter the world open-hearted; to meet people without judgement and help where you can, in whatever way you can. She taught me we are all part of a whole that functions better if we're all just nice to each other. I take this with me every day. She is my conscious and for that I'm eternally grateful.