The Kindness Report (or the Results of my Mini Kindness Challenge)

If you remember, on Valentine’s day I pledged to concentrate on being a little kinder and generally trying to make the world a nicer place in my own little way. The challenge was supposed to last a week, but it felt good to do nice things so I’m trying to carry on and to think “what would be the kind thing to do?” just a little more often…

Here’s what happened:

As I just mentioned, it was Valentine’s day when I started so it seemed downright rude not to do something nice for my hubby. We don’t bother with Valentines usually – we both see it as a bit pointless.  We’ve been together for 8 years now – that’s definitely long enough to know that we care for each other without stupid ‘romantic’ Valentine’s gestures. So anyway, the official task on the Random Acts of Kindness website was to write a letter or list to someone to let them know how much you care, so that’s what I decided to do. Though I stress that it was not in the form of a Valentine’s card, alright?!

I’m not going to tell you what I put in the letter – what’s said between husband and wife should probably stay between husband and wife (plus, it was embarrassingly soppy) – but suffice to say, hubby was touched and a bit emotional. Awww… sweet.

Act of Kindness number 2 was along a similar vein. I have a friend who is a single mum with a young baby. That’s a pretty tough situation to be in, so I wrote her an email to try to give her a little confidence boost and to let her know that she’s a great mum.

Sometimes you need to hear these things from others to believe it of yourself, but they are very often not said…. oops, sorry, that was cheesy! Before I veer off fully into the realms of schmaltz, let’s move on.

I was kind of running out of things to do by mid-week – I was planning on baking some treats for the office or making something for another friend of mine, but didn’t have the time (which was annoying), but then another opportunity for kindness popped up from nowhere.

My work mates and I were discussing how hot it was in the office in the afternoons, and one colleague said that he would rather be cold than hot, and that he’s not sure how he’ll cope in the summer if the office gets so stuffy in February. I have a desk fan that I haven’t used since I moved desks, so, with kindness in mind, I gave him the fan. And, even better, this worked out well for us both – he’s cooler in the afternoons and I’ve got more desk space. Bonus!

The end of the week kind of drifted by, leaving me with the feeling that perhaps I could have done more to meet my little kindness challenge. I decided to carry on for a bit longer – not as an official thing, more to make myself feel like a nice person. Carrying out the few acts of kindness that I had during the week had given me the good feeling that small things can make a difference.

So, just to be nice through the following week I:

  • Copied a CD for someone that we had been discussing and gave it to them (without them asking me to)
  • Bought someone a chocolate bar for no particular reason
  • Brought cupcakes to the office for everyone to share, and made sure I said thanks when others brought in snacks too
  • Donated to the New Zealand earthquake appeal
  • Tried to make a new work colleague feel welcome by joining her and another team member for lunch

So there we go – it seems that kindness makes the world go round. I felt good for trying to be kind, and people seemed to appreciate the kind things that I’d done. The system works!

If you’d like some inspiration for spreading a little bit of niceness, get some ideas from the Random Acts of kindness gallery.

Also, if you’re feeling generous, help out the folks of NZ by donating to the Red Cross emergency appeal. I stayed in Christchurch on honeymoon 6 years ago (we stayed in the hotel that is now threatening to collapse), and recieved such a warm welcome there that I feel obliged to help in any way I can, so please give if you are able. Thanks.

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