With remembrance day and the 100th anniversary of the great war this week and red poppies adorning the outfits of children and adults alike, I took to thinking about peace. Peace led me to think about kindness, because whoever we are, wherever we live and whatever religion we may or may not follow, if we all performed one act of kindness a year (or month, or week or day), I am positive that the world would eventually become a nicer place to live in. We can all do it, it is easy, and you don’t have to have loads of money to join in, just a light that shines in your heart and a willingness to share a little bit of it.
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” — the Dalai Lama said, so I went online to see what I could do to make the world a nicer place.
Google presented me with many examples of ways that we could show kindness, from holding a “free hugs” demo, giving out lots of hugs to people who pass by, to just giving a smile to a stranger or complimenting them. Did you know that there was a kindness day? November the 13th was World Kindness Day and so my son and I handed out sweets to strangers and family and left notes on car windscreens, telling people they were amazing or cool or kind.
It felt strange, and not particularly comfortable, but left me feeling joyous and buoyant for the rest of the day. There’s even a website that you can visit to pledge to be a #RAKtivist, where you read about other kind people doing kind things, and get ideas and inspiration. They can be as simple as remembering to always thank people or as complex as sending somebody on holiday. You could send an old friend a small gift, or donate some food items to a food bank or even leave some change in a vending machine for the next person to use.
Big or small, regular or once a year, it is important and rewarding to be kind to others, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself as well. Meditate, take a walk or a run or read a new book. Let’s make 2015 the year of kindness.
Written by our regular contributor Catherine.
All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.