Vincent and the Doctor is my favorite Doctor Who episode. It makes me cry every damn time. You get to meet this tortured soul, and you see him struggling. He feels so alone and suddenly these two incredible people come into his life. Pretty much out of nowhere.
They save him. They bring him to the future and to an exhibit dedicated to his work. He gets to witness all these people admiring his paintings. Even the museum coordinator said he thought that Van Gogh was one of the greatest artists who ever lived. This scene gets to me every time. After years of struggling and feeling so alone and like you have nothing to live for, he got to see how his work impacted the world. He got to see that he was important. And loved by so many.
What’s sad is that once they return Van Gogh to his time, they again leap forward to the future only to discover that he had still taken his own life. And the Doctor tells a crying Amy “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and… bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things.”
I think that is so important for everyone to hear. It should teach us to always be kind. Maybe things are just meant to happen no matter what. Maybe our kindness and willingness to invest ourselves in someone’s life won’t drastically change their future the way we want it to. But in that moment, it could mean everything. We may not even realize what our actions do. Maybe some small act of kindness may seem second nature to us, but it could make someone’s day.
On those bad days, hopefully they can still look back on some good memories. Like that time they tripped and some kind hearted person helped them up instead of walking by and pretending like they didn’t see. Or when someone complimented their shirt. Or even casually walking by someone in the hallway and they flash them a kind smile.
We should keep adding to people’s pile of good things.