Little Acts Of Kindness

by Naomi Schanen
Taylor Magazine Minimalist guide to life

Last Sunday was World Kindness Day, and that had me thinking. Do we really need a day to celebrate something that we should all be doing on a daily basis anyway?

Kindness is the simple act of generosity, of friendliness, of compassion. It’s the selfless act of giving, accepting and understanding. It brings laughter and peace. But with the recent shock of the American presidential elections and daily stories of terror in our world, it’s easy to feel like nothing positive is happening. I certainly feel that way.

Now if that’s you, let me stop you right there. Very often, we are so focused on the bad that we fail to see past it all, when most of the time, the good is right before our very eyes. Just look around you.

So that is what I did. I took on the challenge to focus solely on the small, simple acts of kindness.

  1. There’s a homeless person near my house who always greets me with a heart warming smile. Yet very few people stop and give him change, let alone look at him in the eye and return the smile. It was a sunny but blistery chilly day, so I decided to stop by Costa to buy the homeless man a hot drink and a pastry. For me, it was simply a matter of spending a few coins, but for him, it kept him going in the cold and showed him that I cared.
  2. I have the best friends I could ever ask for. And while I do try to tell them that as much as I can, I often find myself waiting for a special occasion to shower them with love. So I decided to buy my friend a bouquet of flowers. Why? No particular reason, just because I love her. She was surprised, but equally grateful.
  3. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you will understand the struggle. Communication is key and when the relationship involves two opposing time zones and varying schedules, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. I decided to wake up earlier than normal, so that I could FaceTime him and let him know I care.
  4. What genuinely makes me happy though, is seeing strangers smile because of something I did or said.  So I wrote a note saying ‘Stay Beautiful, Have A Nice Day and left it on the café table. Whether anybody saw it, I don’t know. But if they did, I hope it made their day a little better.    
  5. One of my friends was travelling around Europe and visited me in London. Instead of helping him find a hostel to stay in, I let him crash at my place for a few nights. It was a simple offer but he said it was the best he had slept in weeks!
  6. We all have that one person who we used to be best friends but over time, you both drifted apart. I decided to message that friend and see how he was doing. We ended up talking for hours.Reconnecting with an old friend is the most heart warming feeling ever and all it takes is that courageous first message.
  7. Finally, showing kindness to yourself is just as important as demonstrating it towards others. Self love is something I have always struggled with. But taking the time to make a list of things I love about myself instantly made me feel more confident and in turn, happier.

Kindness comes in all shapes and sizes, and these are only a few examples, but no matter what you do, I promise that you will feel great about yourself and make someone’s day. Do we need a special day dedicated to being kind? No. But does it make for a wonderful reason to spread love and happiness? Most definitely!

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