The idea is to post about our moments of kindness – big or small – from the previous week.
What a brilliant, brilliant, idea.
I know when I started keeping a gratitude journal, after a few weeks, I actively started looking for things I was thankful for. This meant that the whole process formed a type of anti-vicious circle – a gratitude circle, if you will – the more I wrote about the things I was grateful for, and the more things I wrote about that I was grateful for, the more things I found that I’m grateful for – and so on and so forth…
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Kim’s idea had the same sort of snowball effect within each of us and then, by reading each other’s examples of kindness, we enacted more kind acts and/or implemented some of the acts we read of (as far as possible), so that our kindness – our kind acts – ripple out in to the world around us.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
To make the world a kinder place, even if only for those we interact with and meet during our daily lives, isn’t that a worthy goal, a worthy thing to strive for.
I think so.
I’m 100x behind this idea!
So, here goes…my acts of kindness for this previous week.
1. A lady was in a rush to get on the bus but she didn’t have money on her swipe card. As I was standing right near the barrier, waiting in the queue to charge my swipe card for my return journey, I swiped my card through for her so she could reach her bus on time. She was taken aback but I asked her not to worry about it, just to concentrate on catching her bus and telling her that if she has the opportunity to do the same for someone else one day, she should please do so.
2. I had a shopping trolley full of stuff, was in no particular rush and so I let two customers through before me, both of whom had only one item to pay for. I kind of hoped no-one else with only one item would appear, as by this time it was getting closer to my daughter’s home time from nursery, but just as the second person had finished paying for their item, a man ran up and winked, asking me if I’d let him through. How could I refuse?
3. I wrote a piece, for free, for a local newspaper about an ‘issue’ that’s brewing locally.
4. There’s a man in the building next to ours thats trying to ‘prettify’ our street. He’s been planting flowers for months, on the strip of land that runs along the street. He’s a tiny old man and I always see him lugging pots and soil and plants all over the place and, whilst I’d stopped to say hello and speak to him before, I’d never stopped to help him. So, one day this week, I decided not to run home. I took a taxi and used the time I would have been running to help him. We chatted for the 40 or so minutes I was helping him and we planted a whole load of plants whilst doing so. It was a really lovely experience and I’m going to take the children out some afternoons to help him too.
5. I’m a smiler and I smile a lot, all day every day at everyone I meet (except, usually, those people who you can just tell aren’t going to appreciate the smile). So, this week, I made a point of smiling at everyone, literally everyone. Even those scary people who look like they’d rather bite you than interact with you in any way (which includes eye contact). I bit the bullet, and the first lady I tried this with came rushing up to me, grabbing my arm and thanking me for being so friendly: her sister had been killed and she was so sad, she told me. She hadn’t known what to do with herself and had been walking around since the night before. She said I’d made her day a little bit brighter. [Moral of the tale: scary bite-y people are people too, with feelings – remember this, always…this is usually where kindness is needed, more than anywhere else!].
6. I wrote my Mum a letter. I know she’ll love it when it arrives to her.
7. We made my son’s football team, and my daughter’s nursery group, some biscuits. Excitement all round when it came to sharing them out!
8. I gave my seat to a heavily pregnant lady on the bus. Note to self: think of some crafty way to get men to be gentlemen again!
9. I helped a Mum, with several children, who was struggling with her shopping bags. I know I’d be so, so grateful if anyone ever did this for me [Listen, please, men who should be gentlemen!].
I think that’s all of them.
How did I feel after making a conscious effort to be kind this week? Honestly, not that much different to normal, because I like to think I’m a naturally kind person who likes to help out when I see people in need. But I did find the ‘gratitude circle’ effect happening: as I was consciously looking for opportunities to be kind, I definitely feel I found more opportunities to be kind and so was kinder more often than usual.
Paraphrasing Buddha, “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle”.
I’d love to hear about your simple – or not so simple – acts of kindness!
P.S. Did I really – really – jut write ‘Paraphrasing Buddha’ in a blog post??!!!