What are Random Acts of kindness?
“No act of kindness is ever wasted, no matter how small” -Aesop
Random Acts of Kindness are essentially selfless exchanges with no apparent ulterior motive. With the intention to simply bring another person happiness, while expecting nothing in return (although you will usually be rewarded with a smile :). Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. An act of kindness can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness and optimism. They may also encourage others to repeat the good deeds they’ve experienced themselves – contributing to a more positive community. Some people have a personal goal to perform an act of kindness every day, to one person, as they feel grateful for what they have and love to help others if it’s needed.
Examples of Random Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness don’t have to be a huge all or nothing display… a random act of kindness can be as small as giving up your seat for a stranger on a crowded bus or holding the lift for the woman rushing towards it. To pay for someone’s morning coffee or the car behind’s lunch in the drive through. It could be offering compliments to strangers, friends or family, to walking by a window and seeing a bunch of beautiful flowers and bringing them home to your Mum.
The point is, it’s something you have the power to do that can really change someones day. The philosophy that a little can go a long way.
How does offering Kindness to others effect your own wellbeing
Random acts of kindness increase wellbeing not only for the person who is receiving them but also the one who is offering them. Kindness releases feel-good hormones-
Have you ever noticed that when you do something nice for someone else, it makes you feel better too? This isn’t just something that happens randomly—it has to do with the
pleasure centres in your brain. Doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Like exercise, kindness also releases endorphins, a phenomenon known as a “helper’s high.”
Waking up and choosing Kindness
Any random act of kindness big or small has the power to lift another’s spirits. Consider this, every new day you wake up YOU have the ability to positively or negatively affect another human being.
It’s your choice whether you smile and say good morning to the bus driver, or if you just rush by, tap your opal card and take a seat without acknowledgment.
It’s your choice to put your arm out and hold the lift, instead of pretending not to see the woman rushing towards it with a full trolley and 3 kids as the doors close.
Your initial reaction might be to rush past the bus driver because you just want to sit down and listen to your podcast or catch up on your emails before you get to work. You’re thinking what if he’s a talker and you end up getting stuck chatting to him the whole bus ride.
Just the same, you might pretend not to see the woman and let the doors close because you’ve had a long day at work, your feet hurt and you just want to get home and cook some dinner. You’re thinking, she’s got a big trolley and 3 kids she’s going to take a while to get in the lift and then once there in they will take up most of the space, and to top it off the kids will probably push all the buttons and delay you even more.
Getting perspective – Walk in someone else’s shoes
The thing is you never know what is going on in someone else life…
Maybe the bus driver recently lost his partner and every day feels like groundhog day without her, and she was the one that made him feel seen. Now imagine if you stopped and took 2 minutes of your time to slow down and say hello and ask him how is day is going. That small action could for a second make him feel seen.
Maybe the mother has had a long day looking after her kids and she’s really struggling and feeling alone. She just wants to get home, put the kids to bed and finally sit down for the first time all day. Now imagine if you stopped and held the lift open, smiled and said hello. That small action could for a second make her feel less alone.
Isn’t it worth taking the time to make another person smile?
Kindness as a super power – Investigating the Positive and Negative cycle
Ultimately, every one of us holds a tremendous power to impact one another’s day. So ask yourself this, not just today, but everyday, are you using your power kindly? If you walk around all day hunched over, head down, not saying thank you to your cashier and ignoring the person that held the door for you, are you going to feel good? The answer is no.
The energy that you put out into the world only comes back to you, like karma. Creating a cycle of negative or positive energy within you that you then take with you throughout your day.
If one feels negative on the inside this will most likely come out through their behaviour and the way they interact with others. The same goes if someone is treated badly, that negative energy can infect them, and in turn, lead to them feeling negative internally too, and so the never ending cycle goes on.
The great thing about this cycle is that it can be broken just as easily as it can be created. How do you break it you ask for Positive energy (acts of kindness). A cycle of positive energy can just as easily be created as one of negative, it is also born and kept alive with the actions, just positive ones. Same effort, different result. A result that positively affects you, and the receiver
Kindness starts with you
All in all Random Acts of Kindness are beautiful unexpected things and on this day we should also recognise the importance of practising kindness everyday in everything we do from treating ourselves (because it starts with you), our family, our friends and strangers with kindness. Because everybody deserves their place in the positive cycle. So ask yourself. What if today is the day I make the change and pass on positivity not negativity. What if today is the day I make one small step to changing the cycle. Because as Morgan Freeman once said “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time”.
Share with us a Random Acts of Kindness you have offered or received!