Daily Acts of Kindness
If you do good you feel good, so goes the saying. A kind and thoughtful gesture, however small, can make someone’s day or even change their life.
Say thank you, a lot
We all deserve thanks for the things we do every day. A simple “thank you” to the bus driver or the person who opens the door to you makes everyone feel like their contribution is being recognised. The same goes for tipping in a restaurant.
You have two friends who would be great together but somehow they’ve never met. Get them together in the same room and let things unfold naturally. Warning – don’t tell either party what you’re hoping for, this will make everyone feel really awkward! Just introduce them and perhaps casually mention a few things they have in common.
Pay it forward
If you’ve been on the receiving end of a good deed, repay it to others instead of directly back to the original person. When you perform an act of kindness or favour for someone who you’ll never meet, this is known as ‘paying it forward’. It may be something as small as paying for an extra cup of coffee for someone in the queue behind you.
Listen, don’t interrupt
This is a very useful but very difficult life skill that few of us have mastered! When someone else is speaking, really try to listen to what they are saying and don’t speak until they have finished. Think of it as a kindness to the other person, allowing them to have their say.
Spread the good news
If you come across a person who did a great job for you let others know. Send out an email saying you’ve found a great plumber or hairdresser, or post a message on a feedback website. People who work for themselves rely on word of mouth referrals and it will make a huge difference to them to have the positive feedback. Make sure you tell them personally as well.
Write to a friend (or stranger)
Send a postcard or letter to someone you know will appreciate it. Many people only receive junk mail these days, and a real letter will brighten up their day. You can even write to people you don’t know. Move Love Letters is an organisation that allows you to write to strangers all over the world. Their tag line? “The task is small but the impact is greater than you can imagine.”
Be meals on wheels
If you know someone who has just had a baby, or some other life event which is stressful and time-consuming like illness in the family, take them a meal. A simple casserole to heat up will be welcomed with open arms by the exhausted and hungry!
Call, don’t text
If you’ve been going backwards and forwards with a friend for a while by text, to make an arrangement or just chatting, give them a call instead. Tell them you wanted to hear their voice.
Join the bone marrow registry
The bone marrow registry keeps details of potential donors and matches them with people suffering from blood cancer. SIgn up and send off a sample of your saliva. One day you could save someone’s life. Find out more about Anthony Nolan [link: https://www.anthonynolan.org].
Be kind to yourself
Yes, you deserve an act of kindness too. It’s easy to be supportive of other people but very down on yourself. Tell that critical voice in your head ‘shhh shhh it’s going to be okay’ and make peace with your past mistakes. Once you’ve achieved that state of Zen calm, you can help other people with your experience.