Thursday, 5 May 2011

Random acts of kindness

Nothing makes me happier than helping someone else.

If you think about it, I bet no matter how tough a time you are having, if there is the opportunity to reach out to someone else it makes your own day seem brighter.

It might simply be that you realise you're not the only one with problems.

It might make you grateful for what you have.

Or it might be that warm fuzzy feeling you get when someone smiles at you and you KNOW you've changed their day.

Random Acts of Kindness is something I've been passionate about for many years. There are numerous books, sites and movies about the theme such as 'Paying it Forward' and I remember one of our favourite books when my daughter was small was called 'Because Brian hugged his mother'.

The idea of the book was that a small boy called Brian started the day by hugging his mother.
That made her happy so she made her husband's favourite sandwiches.
When her husband saw his favourite sandwiches he helped an old woman gather water.
The old woman was happy so she baked something for the wood cutter - and so it goes on.

It brings together the ideas of karma, of the butterfly effect, of reaping what you sow, of what goes around comes around and helps you realise that no matter how small your action (a simple hug in this case) the happiness effect can ripple outwards. You might never know where or how far those ripples go, but they are powerful enough to change the world.

Has anyone ever let you pull out on a busy road? Chances are you went on to let someone else out later or found yourself naturally performing a Random Acts of Kindness during the day...

So getting myself a bit psyched up and excited about my ROAK day I ventured into our local town to browse the charity shops and to get some food. I know that outside one of the supermarkets there is always a guy and his dog. I would hazard a guess and say they are homeless or living in some kind of supported accommodation and I'd made up my mind I was going to buy them lunch.

What a grand gesture I thought to myself, letting my ego have a good old run around...

The trouble was, they weren't there.

So I came across a musician who was busking and I thought I'd drop them some money - I NEVER do this. But you know what? Here is where I cringe; I was actually too embrassed to do it. I didn't know how much to give and I just felt a bit stupid stopping and drawing attention to myself.

So then I felt depressed.

I wanted to give but it's almost like I was trying too hard and nothing was working out right (note to self, take more notice of the Law of Least Effort).

I looked for someone to give my parking ticket to when I got back to my car, but there was no one around who needed my ticket.

What on earth was the Universe trying to tell me?

Then I started to over analyse; perhaps I HAD performed a simple Random Act of Kindness, but just not noticed. I started to hunt through my day like a bloodhound looking for clues and evidence.

I found nothing.

Seeking deeper into despair I gave up...

Hmpf. FAIL!

What about you? What RAOK have you done today? Over on The Wean Machine you can share you RAOK on Claire's linky or simply go over there and infuse yourself in all that kind goodness that others are taking part in.

1 comment:

  1. Great post - I've wrote about paying it forward myself today and I have a previous post about homelessness which I have linked on my page. You have made a start by thinking about it sometimes situations just jump out at you and other times they don't. Sometimes, like you have said, it's the small things like a cuddle or letting a car pull out that spreads kindness and happiness not the grand gestures. x


All comments are much appreciated as I know it takes time and effort. But please let me know your thoughts!