“Be Kind – Rewind” was the slogan adorned on the cases of all our favourite tapes from the video store, and whilst the humble VHS is no longer as popular as it used to be, we can certainly take inspiration from its ethos and aim to spread a little kindness.
So, what is a “random act of kindness?” It is when someone performs a non-premeditated, spontaneous, gesture of goodwill that is aimed to enhance a person’s — or even an animal’s — happiness and well-being.
The initiative was first coined in 1982 by an American woman named Anne Herbert in California, and it is now celebrated worldwide. There is even a “Pay it Forward Day“, which next takes place in April 2018. It encourages people to join this worldwide movement by performing random acts of kindness for 3 or more people and then asking those people to do the same.
There are so many ways that you can spread goodwill and perform random acts of kindness! Why not buy two cups of coffee at your local takeout and pass the spare coffee on to the first person that you see?
We have all been there – with your hands full of shopping bags, you’ve battled against the crowds to make it back to your car on time before the meter runs out. Have you ever spotted a car that is close to running out and getting a ticket? Why not feed a couple of quarters into the meter and give a random stranger the gift of time?
Listening to others is one of the best commodities a person can have. Make a person feel special by listening to their story, and they will leave you with a sense of importance and a huge smile on their face.
Green-fingered? Use your gardening skills to make the shared areas of your local community more beautiful (don’t forget to ask permission first). Why not see if a neighbour’s yard could use a good sweeping or weeding?
“It’s only words, but words are all I have.” These lyrics have never rung truer. Why not select three people a day to pay a lovely accolade to? Whether it is complimenting them on their stylish outfit, their superb work presentation or even how well-behaved their new puppy is, a few words can go a long way to making someone’s day!
Charity begins at home, and kindness starts with you – make a small donation to a charity or a not-for-profit of your choice. Even if you can only afford to give a little, the impact that this will have will be huge!
Why not see if your random act of kindness can be converted into a serendipitous blessing for your random stranger? Buy a lottery ticket and pass it on to them, or fill up a slot machine so that all they must do is play. Or alternatively, set up an online account with credit for your chosen recipient to try and change their fortune. Just think, a few dollars could convert into something life changing for them!
Will you choose to pay it forward and perform a random act of kindness today?