February is undoubtedly the month of love, with Valentine’s Day bang in the middle. However, another day gaining in reputation and popularity is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. The idea originally started in New Zealand, and is actually observed on 1st September; however, many other countries have followed suit with the UK now adopting RAK Week (12th-18th February).
What are Random Acts of Kindness, and why do they matter?
To be honest, they’re exactly what they say on the tin – random acts of kindness, often performed by anonymous strangers. The principal behind them is insanely simple, in a world where it’s all too easy to become submerged by doom and gloom, these little acts are a way of spreading cheer and kindness.
It’s a great reminder that there are good things happening in the world, day in and day out, if you just stop and think about them for a moment. By doing something nice for another person, it’s hoped that people will return the favour and doing something nice for another person in turn.
What can you do?
What you do as your random act will depend entirely on you as an individual and who you might be doing it for. However, there are lots of ideas out there, and we pulled some together to help give you some inspiration.
#1 – Phone a loved one
Technology has made staying in touch with people so much easier, or has it? In a world where a status update “like” can pass for communication, are we really talking any more? If it’s been a while since you actually picked up the phone and spoke to a friend or loved one, why not do it today? It could honestly make someone’s day to hear your voice and have a proper conversation with you.
#2 – Let someone go first
When you think about it, there are multiple options every day to let someone go before you. It might be whilst you are waiting in traffic on the way to work, take a second to let that car in the junction out. It could be whist you are in line at the supermarket. The person behind you might only have a few items compared to your weekly shop; why not let them go first so they’re not held up getting on with their day?
#3 – Donate blood
This is arguably one of the most amazing things you can do for someone as donated blood is used in emergency situations to treat victims of accidents, as well as to offer on going treatment for certain conditions.
There is no doubt that there are many people alive today purely because someone else made the decision to give up an hour of their time to donate blood.
Over 6,000 donations are needed per day to treat patients across England, and most people aged between 17 and 65 are able to donate. Why not find out more and book an appointment if this appeals to you?
#4 – Bring your neighbours bin in
If your bin day falls on Friday, why not take the time to either put your neighbours bin out, or bring it back in for them? We’ve all been there, you come home after a long day at work and your emptied bin has been left smack-bang in the middle of your driveway. Now you have to get out of the car, no doubt in the cold and/or rain, to move it out the way, just so you can park.
OK, we know, first world problems, but it can rangle a bit can’t it? Imagine if someone had gone out of their way to put your bin back, so you didn’t have to worry about it? It’s the simple things that can sometimes make the hugest difference.
#5 – Pay for someone else
Whether it’s at the Drive Thru, the coffee shop, the supermarket or even a parking machine in a car park, why not leave money behind to pay for the next person? It can be anything from a few pence, to a much larger sum; it doesn’t matter about the value. As always, it’s the thought that counts.
Doing something, no matter what, to life someone else’s day, will spread kindness and joy. When something good happens, it does put a little spring in your step, and before you know it, we’ll all be in a better place.