Friday, 6 November 2015

Random Acts of Kindness

Today is that day--the one where you only have to pay for the coffee for the person behind you in line, since everyone is "paying it forward". The one where people post about the little things they do to make the world a nicer place.

It might be too easy to wax cynical on this. After all, aren't we supposed to do kind things as a way of life all through the year? Does confining it to a "day" and then sharing all our good deeds somehow make more of a difference? Or is it just an excuse to show off for a day and then go back to our self-centred ways?

Well, actually, maybe it does make a positive difference.

I know that other people's ideas for kindness have caused me to do things I wouldn't have otherwise thought of doing. Also, consider that November can be an overwhelming month in which school and work loads increase, the days get shorter and (usually) cooler, and the thoughts of warm summer days become fleeting memories. Holiday stressors begin. People begin to look inward, sometimes becoming downright grumpy, but usually just focusing on their own business at hand.

What a perfect time to give each other a small, simple, yet much needed boost!

Kindness breeds kindness, and with enough impetus, these small acts can create a significant ripple that extends well into the year and throughout the community. The small reminder that even (and maybe especially) the smallest of gestures, such as a well-timed smile, can create a huge difference comes at a perfect time in the year when we are most likely to begin to feel overwhelmed with high expectations.

So please, don't be shy, share some of your small acts of kindness given and/or received here in the comments so we can all spread a little more positivity throughout the community! Sometimes it's easy to forget, fail to notice, or just set aside these things that can make life a little brighter.

Ideas so far:
- making a point to carry change/gift cards/warm hats, gloves, socks etc. to give to homeless people
- leaving a "pay cart" at the grocery store unhooked so the next person doesn't have to fish out change in order to shop
- donating to a food bank
- paying it forward in lineups at restaurants etc.
- offering someone a ride who doesn't have one
- walking a neighbour's dog
- bringing in a neighbour's trash cans & recycling boxes for them
- making lunch for other family members
- buying lunch for a colleague
- paying someone the compliment you've been thinking but haven't yet said
- offer encouragement rather than criticism
- offer to pick up items for your roommate when you go shopping
- call or visit your parents and/or grandparents
- offer to babysit for new parents
- leave a friendly note for someone
- top up someone's parking meter