Sometimes we can get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that we forget about what really matters. While we may feel ‘too busy’, a small gesture and act of kindness can make a strangers entire day, or even week!
First things first, what is a random act of kindness? The principle of the idea comes from acting kindly and being the change we want to see in the world. It’s just as it says, an act that is selfless and benefits someone else and puts compassion for others above one’s own interests.
Being kind is an uplifting feeling. It makes you feel happy, good, alive and validated. So why not spread a little kindness? Whether it’s a smile to a colleague at work, fostering an animal from the shelter, doing your housemates dishes for them, or shouting the person behind you a coffee. You can get some inspiration from World Kindness Australia to get you started here.
Why are Aussies reaching out to be kind? It’s been shown that being kind triggers a number of beneficial physical and psychological responses. The most common being the ‘feel good’ sensation referred to as the ‘helpers high’. When you do something that makes you feel happy and good, your body rewards you by releasing endorphins and these endorphins create the feel good experience. In fact, research shows that regular, small acts of kindness have a positive effect on your physical and mental wellbeing and your life purpose.
Random acts of kindness have become a movement around the globe, encouraging selfless deeds as a means of creating a kinder, more connected community. Pay it Forward day developed by Australian, Blake Beattie is on the 28th April 2019. Whether you’re an individual or a business, we’ve put together some of the acts of kindness taking place throughout Australia so you can check them out and get involved!
Paying it forward is repaying it to others instead of yourself, so while you’re purchasing a coffee why not shout the person behind you theirs too? There are a number of cafes around Australia who are putting out jars so you can donate to those in need. Should someone who is struggling to find food or living on the streets come in, the cost of their coffee is on the customers. Social media has also seen pages developed to help people pay it forward in their local community. A Perth Pay it Forward website has developed three local Facebook pages and has seen one member collect discarded bikes from council verge pickup and repair and give away 375 bicycles in just over two years.
Ever heard of a kindness warrior? Cate Cook has been on a mission to bring kindness to someone she hasn’t met each day. Cate started the Facebook page Yours Kindly in January 2016 and has since seen it grow to a community of over 4,500 Kindness Warriors. For her birthday one year, Cate completed 65 acts of kindness in one day including leaving money for people to buy a meal, and leaving bunches of flowers on park benches and paying for people’s parking fines.
Do you believe in book fairies? The Book Fairies launched in 2017 and involves volunteers who hide books around the world every day so people can share the books they love. Today, almost 9,000 people sharing books in over 100 countries! Did you read an amazing book that someone else just has to read? No matter where you live, grab the stickers and start creating a little book magic and leaving books around your city for people to find.
Last year, a Perth woman has inspired strangers to help those in need with her Christmas kindness cards. By leaving cards throughout Perth, people reached out to those they had lost, took a homeless person out to lunch, helped their parents and helped customers to remember their wife. Naomi now has a blog sharing that it’s cool to be kind! There are a number of other sites offering kindness cards and random acts of love! Check out World Kindness Australia and Ripple Kindness Project for more, but like Naomi, you may also like to make your own!
There are many businesses that are paying it forward. Happiness Co won the national award for random acts of kindness last year following the kindness shown by the company’s happiness heroes. Thanks to donations from businesses, the team performs acts of kindness throughout the metropolitan area including helping people with their shopping, paying parking tickets and giving out flowers. After a father put out a call on Twitter with the hashtag #CupForBen for people to search their cupboards for look-a-like cups as it was the only cup his son with autism would drink from. Tommee Tippee got into action searching warehouses and factories to find the discontinued cup mould and reached out to the family to make a batch of 500 sippy cups for the family.
RHoK (Random Hacks of Kindness) is an Australian community that is dedicated to helping charities and social enterprises find tech enabled solutions. Each year, RHoK run weekend-long hackathons in summer and winter in five different locations across the nation. Over a 48 hour period, the team collaborates to develop innovative social solutions. You can see the Melbourne Winter hackathon from last year here.
Have you shared the love and tried a random act of kindness or be the receiver of an act of kindness? Share your experience with us in the comments below.