You’ve probably heard of random acts of kindness, where you do something nice for someone else with no expectation of getting anything back.
There are many ways you can be kind to others and a few years ago there was a video doing the rounds of a US police officer who went into a store to buy socks and shoes for a homeless man who was barefoot. There’s lots more videos online for you to watch.
The phrase is said to have been invented by the journalist – Anne Herbert who, back in 1982, called on others to ‘practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.’
Psychological research confirms that RAK brings positive benefits to the giver – both positive impact on our mental and physical health.
Especially at this time of year let’s show kindness to other. It doesn’t have to be through buying things, we can
- Give our full listening as someone talks rather than to focus on what we are going to say next.
- Give way to a car trying to get out of a side road.
- Say good morning to the door man/ cleaner/ the people we tend to walk by and ignore
- Give something away – a book, a scarf, or buy a two for one deal and give the second item away.
- Step back and allow someone to go in front of us in a queue.
- Compliment or provide some positive feedback to people we meet.
- Pick up some litter we see on the floor.
- Refer to people by name when they are wearing a name badge in a store.
- Pay for someone’s car parking or coffee.
- Give someone a gift – have you seen the Co-op Stores advert where a young man pays some food and leaves it on a neighbour’s doorstep?
- Say thank you, or even better, send a hand written thank you note.
- Say you are sorry.
- Contact an elderly neighbour or relative and ask how they are.