During the lead up to Christmas, we carried out daily random acts of kindness to spread some festive cheer.
I learned a lot during this period and what better way to share it with you then in a follow-up blog.
I discovered that kindness is very much like a boomerang, when people benefitted from the random acts of kindness they often did something nice in return. We have received many messages of thanks both in person and via email, the one that stood out the most was the very grateful and polite thank you that I received from a homeless gentleman that I gave a care pack to.
There is a general perception of the homeless. People consider them as scary and dangerous. In many ways, our ideas about homelessness are shaped not by direct experience, but rather are influenced by media reports or the stories that our friends tell us. These indirect encounters have an impact upon our views. When you next pass a homeless person on the street I urge you to smile at them, respond to them when they ask you for some change, even if it’s an apology that you don’t have any to give. My husband passed a homeless lady before Christmas and he didn’t have any spare change but he had just bought some lunch and gave her his bag of crisps. Any gesture, even if just a smile or a kind reply is better than walking by like you are above them. After all everyone has a story!
I also learned not to expect anything in return. When you perform a random act of kindness, you get a sense of fulfillment when your act of kindness is acknowledged but expecting to be praised every time will set you up for disappointment, sometimes the reaction from the recipient falls short of what you expected and this can lead to disappointment if you keep expectations low then the acknowledgments you receive are an added bonus.
You also need to be prepared for rejection, we contacted many charities during the month of December wanting to make helpful donations to their causes but we had several rejections as they had already received so many donations from others that they had no room for more. It is reassuring to know that others are giving to Charity but it was deflating to hear that your help is not required.
I found that if you are working as a team to perform these acts of kindness then you need several fully invested people to keep the momentum going, people who know me, know that I don’t do failure so would have followed this through despite my personal workload and time restraints but the fully invested team members made a task that could easily have failed a huge success and I owe it’s success to them. We really do have the best team at Christchurch and I’m so proud to be a part of it.
I think we would all benefit from being a little kinder, being kind doesn’t have to be spending your last £4 on a coffee for the person behind you in the queue, it can be a simple smile’.
‘A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give’
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