Wonderful to have Kay Hammond from These Random Acts sharing her inspiring words today, on the blog.
Have you ever had a stranger do something nice for you completely out of the blue? It’s a wonderful feeling when someone puts themselves out just to make you smile and for no apparent personal gain, it’s a wonderful gesture to give and to receive yet these random acts of kindness seem to be something that few people practice day-to-day.
That’s why I’m on a bit of a mission to try and get more people involved in random acts of kindness.
My husband and I went through a horrible period when he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 36 and whilst his prognosis was already good, and after treatment he is now absolutely fine, it was the little things that people did for our family over that period that helped us get through it.
Random acts of kindness can cost a few pounds, buying lunch for a homeless person (or better still inviting them into a café to enjoy lunch paid by you) or paying for someone’s items in the queue in front of you. Completely unexpected gestures, guaranteed to make someone’s day.
Of course random acts can be completely free of any cost other than your time and imagination. We always take refuse sacks with us on walks to our local park, picking up rubbish as we go making the park more enjoyable for others.
Leaving post-it notes with a kind message scribbled on or a thought for a random stranger to find, can make someone’s day. Why not add one within a library book or on shop shelf.
In bad weather, de-icing a neighbour’s car or clearing an elderly person’s driveway of snow can make a huge difference to someone’s day.
Here are 5 more quick ways you can make someone’s day today:
- Compliment a stranger on their hair, outfit, smile etc. ‘I love your hair’ always leaves me smiling from ear to ear. A genuine compliment is always appreciated.
- Open up your wardrobe to a friend if they’ve got a special event, job interview or something else and let them borrow anything they want!
- Take 5 minutes out of your day to chat with an elderly neighbour or fellow shopper at the supermarket. So many people feel incredibly lonely and chatting to them can help them feel less isolated and alone.
- Share a great book you’ve read with someone. Offer it to any interested friends on social media or pass it on to someone you work with. Literature can be so inspiring so equally share with an acquaintance. It could be the beginning of a brand new friendship.
- Write a thank you note. It could be to a local store for the great service you receive regularly, to the person who delivered your baby 5 years ago to say you still think of them with fondness or an old school teacher who impacted your life. If you think that’s silly, imagine being the recipient. Imagine how you’d feel to receive a note of thanks, unexpectedly.
The great thing about random acts of kindness for me is that they’re contagious. Like the common cold, they’re easily passed on from one person to the next so that once you’ve been the recipient you’re compelled to pay it forward. My children have also caught the bug. My son will help random strangers with their shopping and is the first to help teachers at school. My 2 year old daughter recently helped her grandma on the slopes on a skiing holiday and it was heart-warming to witness.
If you’ve never received an act of kindness from a stranger before, you won’t yet know the joy it brings but if we can all start to think of others a little more, and do these small things seeking out just one opportunity every day, just imagine how much happier everyone would feel.