RAOK – Random Acts Of Kindness. It’s a bit of a thing these days and I like that. Being randomly kind. I try to be kind. It was drummed into me as a child, share with others, love others, be kind.
It isn’t alway easy to do this, because the world we live in can be very unkind. Which despite making it harder makes it all the more important to do it. And yes random acts of kindness are a really good start. A few months back I was in a car with three of my sisters and we headed through McDonald’s drive through on the way to a girlie trip to Bath, we ordered just one coffee ( for me ). The person in front of us didn’t know we had made such a small order, there were four women in the car after all, yet when we got to the payment window we were told that the man in front at the service window was paying for our order. He then simply drove off, he didn’t hang about for praise or even wave, he just did that small, kind thing and drove away. You know it was just a £1.50 cup of coffee but I felt like he had bought me a slap up meal. He made us all smile and I swear that warm feeling lasted all day, even now typing it up it is making me smile. Such a small act, such a big impact.
Be a sunflower, stand tall and make others smile by sharing your sunshine.
Some say kindness or acts of kindness are selfish in a way. I don’t entirely disagree. I feel great after doing something for someone else. It makes me feel better to know that on a day when a friend was having a bad time and I couldn’t be there to hug them or make it better, they opened a parcel from me which made them smile and maybe the smile only lasted 30 seconds but I made that smile. Is that selfish? Maybe, maybe not. The reason I do anything like that is mainly for the person who is on the receiving end but yes I have to admit it makes my day better too. I never expect anything in return, that isn’t why I do it.
Kindness doesn’t have to cost anything, I’ve recently read an excellent book from Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker called The Art Of Being Brilliant and it has a list of ways in which you can be kind, the author has kindly allowed me to share it:
Some quotes about kindness from people who are far better with words than I:
“The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love” William Wordsworth
“I think the associations people have with kindness are often things like meekness and sweetness and maybe sickly sweetness; whereas I do think of kindness as a force, as a power” Sharon Salzberg
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you” Princess Diana
It was interesting reading the quote from Princess Diana, a person who was well known for her extraordinary kindness – we think of the random acts of kindness movement as a new thing but it’s not.
I agree with Sharon Salzburg, kindness is often looked upon as perhaps a person is too soft, too nice, meek..weak. Kindness is power. It is one of the most powerful things you can be, kindness can change the day, the week, the month for someone. That one kind act you carry out which took you moments or cost you a few pounds could make a vast difference to that persons life. Believe in the little things and the power they hold. In my head I am now He Man shouting I have the Powerrrrrr.
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end” Scott Adams
Last month on International RAOK Day I asked followers on my Facebook page to nominate someone who deserved a random treat by post and it was fun. A person was chosen at random from the comments left and this week she should have received her treat. I don’t know her and it’s unlikely I will meet her but I have had an impact on her day, I feel a little proud of that, I hope it made her smile. It led me to thinking that as a blogger who has a growing and loyal following I don’t really use my blog for the benefit of others in any way, but I should. This year I am planning a few charity collaborations and I am always on the lookout for things I can help with, big or small. I think as digital influencers we as a community have the power to support, fundraise and gain exposure for issues and charities close to our heart and we should use it.
This is just a very small start but every month I want you to tell me the people in your life who deserve a random act of kindness, maybe they are having a difficult time, maybe they are just awesome. I don’t mind what the reason is, you don’t have to go into too much detail if you don’t want to but let’s all start being kinder and let’s spread some happiness – YES it is almost too cheesy but you know what..who cares? Each month one person will be sent a treat, something to bring a smile. This will be my way of being kind but how about you? Well I would love if some of you would join in on this, be randomly kind, not just to strangers but to those already in your life. When was the last time you sent a gift to a friend or bought them a box of chocolate without a reason for it? We all do it for birthdays and Christmas but how about just because it’s a Tuesday and you want to cheer them up. Do it. Just do it. Let’s all do it a little, I promise that although it won’t change your life, it will better it. Do it without the expectancy of anything in return as that is really not what it’s about.
A few ideas from me on what your RAOK could be:
Give a friend a coffee shop gift voucher and insist they take time for themselves to enjoy a break
Send a letter or a card to a friend you don’t see often enough. Snail mail can raise the biggest smiles.
Help someones business without spending anything, share their posts on social media, write a 5 star review or similar.
I’ll have more ideas for next month, do share yours with me also.
To nominate someone for a RAOK leave a comment below with your name, the name of the person who deserves a treat ( just first name is fine ) and why, and leave your email address in the relevant section ( it won’t be shown publicly ). Initially this will be just for UK based followers as I’ll be funding the treats and parcel costs myself.
Jan Bennett says
A lovely post – sunflowers always make me smile.
Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours says
A lovely post, especially at this time of year. I always try and do more, rather than give up in Lent.
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche says
I love the idea of paying for the next person’s order at a drive through or cafe. The sort of thing that just makes someone pause and smile – always worth doing 🙂
My husband who had MND and I nursed at
home died last month.
I am low unable to stop crying, and am so
very sad, and unhappy.
Helen sent me an arrangement of flowers,
the day after he died, wrote wonderful letters to me, and called in last week with flowers and
stayed for a few hours while I talked, she is not a close friend but the only person who has taken the time to help me.