Basically the title is self explanatory- it’s so simple! But why isn’t everyone completing at least one act of kindness every day? How do we get so wrapped up in our own lives that we often miss so much going on around us? Stress, that’s how! We live in a world where we constantly overthink our issues and have so much going on that it’s hard to notice someone that needs a helping hand. It could be a friend or a stranger and it’s time we all slowed down and took a good look around.
An act of kindness can be the smallest thing. It can be helping a stranger carry something heavy, noticing that a friend/ colleague/ stranger is upset and offering them an ear. It can be buying a big issue, or not buying a big issue but looking at the seller and saying “No thank you” with a smile rather than ignoring them (countless Big Issue sellers have thanked me for acknowledging their existence; if you just look you will notice how many people treat them like they are invisible and it’s not nice). The same goes for sales people; no one deserves to be sworn at or ignored.
You can let someone desperate jump in front of you in a queue, or you know that bus/ train ticket that you no longer need but hasn’t expired? Find someone who will benefit from it, there’s no point in throwing it in the bin if you could save someone else a few pounds.
There are so many ways we can help people every day but we are usually too oblivious to notice. They might not be life changing situations but believe me the smallest thing can make all the difference. I’ve saved a lot of people bus and train fares by giving away my weekly ticket once I have finished; a young man with a large backpack last week couldn’t believe his luck. I’m guessing he was a traveller or a student- in both cases every few pounds saved really does help.
If you just slow down you will see all the help you can offer. Things like opening doors and smiling at people seem obvious but it’s surprising how few people do it. It’s also a shock as to the number of people that will walk on by as an elderly person struggles to carry a heavy bag/s. A smile especially can brighten almost anyone’s day. The stranger sat opposite you on the tube might have a lot of worries on their mind; a smile might help them forget for a moment.
Not only does it make you feel warm with the satisfaction that you are helping others but you will notice the increase in kindness offered back at you. When you slow down not only do you notice what you can do for others but also it gives other people more time to observe what they can do for you because kindness is infectious. I know when I’ve received kindness from a stranger it gives me that little bit more faith in humanity and it makes me want to do something thoughtful for someone else.
It’s always in the media, how rude our society has become, with stories of a pregnant women standing for three hours on a train journey and the homeless getting verbally abused etc. It’s time to turn that around. I could go on for days about this, but as I said before it’s a simple solution so I will keep the message that way. Now go and give yourself the task to complete one act of kindness from today, everyday and notice your own happiness soar too.