Random Acts of Kindness

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So this isn’t strictly a ‘Second-Hand Tales’ post but I think it sort of fits into the ethos of this blog which is partly about trying to live as sustainably as possible. In my mind, ‘sustainable living’ means being kind: kind to the planet and kind to each other.

I recently came across the Random Acts of Kindness movement simultaneously through the web, and my eldest daughter’s school.  After some googling and the obligatory browsing through Pinterest I discovered some very inspirational sites and blogs explaining more about this idea of being kind.

Random Acts of Kindness was founded in the US but has since spread around the world. The idea behind this movement is to do something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return. There are some great stories which are so simple yet meaningful: paying for someone else’s coffee (see the Suspended Coffee movement), leaving change on a parking meter to pay for someone’s ticket or giving out cakes at your local library.

I was also really inspired by the blog, Kinder by the Day, written by Annie who is challenging herself to undertake a random act of kindess every day for six months. She has some great posts on her site and shows that it is possible to be British and still hand out gifts to complete strangers without feeling awkward.

So this week I decided to work with my family to undertake our own random acts and this is what we’ve achieved so far:

1) It’s a tiny one but I left my unwanted parking ticket on the pay & display machine (it only had 30 mins left but someone might have found that useful).

2) My eldest daughter made a birthday cake for her Grandma (think this is more pre-planned than random)

3) We donated some food to our local foodbank. There’s a really useful list here from A Girl Called Jack who writes passionately and with authority about foodbanks.

4) The girls made some cute messages for friends which they attached to lollipops to hand out at school. This is an idea I stole via Pinterest from here.

5) I bought some flowers for a couple of friends going through difficult times.

6) Some of my friends are running the Bath Half Marathon this Sunday to raise funds for our local hospital. None of them have run this race before but they have been out in all types of weather and trained really hard. I so admire them. Annie’s blog made me think of acts of kindness in a different way; that is really thinking about the person you are giving the gift to. I wanted to give a little something to my friends to show how I felt about them and I hope the Mars bar gives them some added energy!

I’m not sure how many of these acts are ‘random’ as most are done for people we know and I haven’t had to go out of my comfort zone to do them. Perhaps with some inspiration and a little courage I can follow the example of Kinder by the Day and start handing out gifts and compliments to complete strangers.

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