17th February saw ‘Random acts of kindness’ day, something Kat thinks we could all get behind.
How many times have you vacated your parking space earlier than you’d thought, and offered the remainder of your ticket to another driver just entering the car park? It might not be quite so popular these days for one reason or another (computerised car recognition, money back for parking fees when using the shop, etc.) but it’s something I clearly remember happening fairly often when I was a kid. Just a nice thing to do, no?
Or how about being offered unwanted tokens at a supermarket checkout after a big shop, and checking whether the person behind you might want them instead? You may not have a need for that Portable Car Loo for just £4.99 when you collect 500 tokens, but someone else might be very grateful, and almost at the 300 mark!
In 2015 the chief executive of popular food chain Pret a Manger revealed that staff were encouraged to give away a certain amount of free food and drink per week to customers at their discretion, as an alternative to a loyalty card system. Good business sense, perhaps; profits rose by 14% that year, but also a bit of a thrill for whoever was on the receiving end of that random act! I know at least two people who declared it made their day, and I think that that may have been mostly due to the unexpected nature of the bonus!
‘Random acts of kindness’ day is a lovely idea, and there’s loads of ways to participate. But why not make it every day? If we made it our ‘business as usual’ to be kind, generous and altruistic at least once a day, to friends, family or total strangers, then surely we would all be a lot happier? Telling someone they look nice; offering to make that extra round of drinks; buying that Big Issue instead of saying ‘no thanks’ for the umpteenth time. It doesn’t take much.
I got handed this note once by a little girl who came running across to me in the street, under the watchful eye of her mother. I noticed she had a handful of them. Clumsily written, spelt wrong, crossed out and corrected, but a beautiful sentiment. I kept it on my fridge… for years.
We’re all amazing! Let’s show it more.