08 May, 2013
Kill them with kindness
I haven’t had time to blog as much lately and am feeling that need to just sit at my laptop and write all day. It’s not going to happen for a while as the past month has been a whirlwind of weddings, birthdays, mini breaks and various shifts in my personal life. It’s all been positive though, so instead of begrudging the lack of time I am just looking forward to the next time I can sit and write all day, but until then I am getting creative and blogging in lunch breaks, from buses and probably at some point in the near future, whilst tipsy! (Although knowing the history of my drunk texts I was capable of as a younger me, a drunk blog post could really leave a trail of destruction, so I may avoid that one…)
All of the above is mainly an excuse for why I am blogging something that isn’t my original idea, but something that I sincerely identified with when I stumbled across it.
It was only last week I blogged about the advice I give to myself and to my friends when they’re feeling Blue (advice that quite frankly seems to work a treat) and one point I made was about being kind to others to give you a boost too. It takes a certain type of person, but I definitely find that doing something sweet for another person, even if it’s just complimenting their shoes or sending them a little card of appreciation in the post, totally makes my day if not my week. It can turn any day on its head, and I can end what was a bad day feeling really bloody good about myself, simply because I have helped someone else be happ(ier)!
Just a few days after my blog post about this, I stumbled across this article in Cosmo (I am sure they are stealing my ideas you know) about why it’s ‘cool to be kind’ and I was like YES! THIS! THAT’S WHAT I SAID! HIRE ME COSMO, HIRE ME NOW! Really though, the reason I had the same thought as a national glossy is because actually it’s pretty bloody obvious. You only have to smile at a homeless person to get a good feeling – it doesn’t take a genius to work out why that is.
What is or can be hard is putting that concept into practice. Life is so busy, we are so stressed and quite frankly any spare time we do have we just want to stuff our faces with that Popcorn Dairy Milk and watch Broadchuch (I do anyway, as I missed it the first time around somehow). But kindness doesn’t have to take a lot of time or break the bank, you just have to get creative and for the act to be genuine in order for it to be worth doing.
Cosmo’s article talk’s about a blog called Make me Joyful, which was set up to encourage and enable people to spread the positivity, while Random Acts of Kindness if full of tips and ideas for this very cause. Personally, I prefer for things I do for others to come from the heart – I think it means more if you have had the idea yourself, otherwise it just becomes a box ticking process and that’s not quite so cool. I would have to give up my day job to do all of the ideas that pop into my head , but sometimes just letting someone know you had the thought is enough and can give them a boost.
Yes acts of kindness can be for the most selfish reasons possible, let’s face it altruism and kindness are 2 different things, but why should that stop us? At the end of the day, kindness breeds positivity, positivity breeds happy people and a happy person means a generally nicer (and hopefully quieter) life for them and those they come into contact with. I have started doing little things for others more and more, and am trying to make it a weekly event. You never know when you are going to make someone’s day, so hurry up – go and buy some flowers for your office, bring a cake to your neighbour, next time you like someone’s hair/outfit/general LIFE – tell them! We’re all in this together, life is not a competition (unless we make it one) – for all the critical thoughts you have in a day, you probably could have gone to Africa, built a hut and still had time for that Dairy Milk.
A few years ago a friend sent me this card, after I helped him through a shit time, and I have had it pinned up in my various houses ever since – it sums up perfectly what I’m saying here. Want a bit of sunshine? Give a bit first.