Thursday, 15 September 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

I have just finished reading Marian Keyes book “The Brightest star in the sky”.  Now not to give too much of the plot away (I tend to do that which makes others mad…..cant think why???) but there is a couple in the book who have to do one RAK…..random act of kindness each day.  At the end of the day when they get into bed they share with each other what their RAK for the day is.  It has to be meaningful and add value to a the person who is receiving the kindness life.  This got me thinking about ways in which I can show kindness to others in my daily life experience. 

Here’s what I have come up with:

Ask someone "How are you really doing?"—and then really listen to her response.

Say "Good morning" to a person standing next to you in the elevator – once the shock has subsided you will see the joy.

Say "I love you" to someone you love – life is short and we never know when will be the last time you have the opportunity.  So make sure you never go to bed angry and use each opportunity to tell those who enrich your life that you value and love them.

Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old – it is truly a good way to keep the hoarding to a minimum but to also make a difference in someone else’s life.

Don't interrupt when someone is explaining herself – I battle with this one.  I am often so busy auto correction someone that I don’t allow them the opportunity to express themselves.

Listen with all your senses – how many of us truly do this? 

Simply say "I'm sorry" when you're wrong – difficult but necessary.  None of us (not even the women amongst us) are right all the time!!! We must own up to our mistakes and take responsibility for them.

Forgive someone a debt–and never bring it up again – when you give, give with a cheerful heart expecting nothing in return.

Encourage someone who seems despondent – this is so important and so easy to do.  A kind word or gesture goes a long way.

Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend
– I love doing this.  My new favorite is to send cupcakes.  Pure bliss and joy combined.

Say "please" and "thank you"—and really mean it.

Throw away your rubbish after a movie – I learnt this from my friend Sasja and although it is taken time I am finally in the habit. No one should have to clean up your mess… does not matter if it’s their job or not.

Leave a generous tip for a pleasant/good waiter – I lasted 4 hours.  It’s a thankless job most of the time so be generous!!

Pass along a great book you've just finished reading – I love doing this because if gives my friends and I one more thing in common.

Offer change when the person in front of you at the till comes up short – and ask them to pay it forward.

Pay the toll for the driver behind you – this is especially relevant with the our new toll roads in Gauteng but can you imagine the surprise on the other drivers face.

Give a homeless person your doggie bag – I got into the habit of doing this simply because I did not want to carry around the doggie bag while shopping. Now I realize that it is an act of kindness.

Bring your colleagues coffee and doughnuts – always good for improving working relationships.

Let a fellow driver merge into your lane – in SA it’s hard to do (especially with the taxis) but does it really make such a difference to your day….your blood pressure maybe but not your day!!!

Offer to baby-sit for a single mom – so many women are for whatever reason raising kids on their own.  They also need some down time, it is after all the hardest job in the world!!

Write a note to the boss of someone who helps you, and explain how great a job that person is doing -  Performance is king and often managers don’t know or realize the extra mile their employees go to.  So inform them!!

Put your trolley back in its place – ai how often do we squeeze our trolley between two parking spaces or onto the curb. 

Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather. 

 Remember that one small, kind gesture can make someone else's day...

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