Exactly one year ago we started this blog – as an act of kindness to our community; to encourage us all to think about the wellbeing of ourselves and our families.
Living in a world of so many conflicts and expectations, it is not always easy to act kindly. In fact, an attitude of entitlement often seems to dictate behaviour more than an attitude of generosity and kindness.
How often do you hear words such as ‘it’s my right’, ‘I’m entitled to it’, ‘I deserve it’, ‘I’ve earned it!’, ‘I’ve paid for it’? We live in a world governed by perceived rights. Clearly it has been an important part of the development of our society to recognise and respect the ‘rights’ of others – minority rights, the rights of those in danger, the rights of consumers, etc.. In many ways our behaviour in society is determined by ‘rights’ – we must respect the rights of others and are encouraged to stand up for our own rights.
That’s all well and good, but perhaps, in defence of our rights, we have become much less tolerant and much more demanding. Is it possible to be part of a society which respects rights, but does it with kindness? Might it even be possible that sometimes, I might give up my ‘right’ in order to be kind?
When I drive to school in the morning, in order to get out of my road, I am often dependent upon another driver kindly allowing me to pass when s/he had the right of way. It is a morning act of kindness. What would the world be like if we left home in the morning looking out for opportunities to be kind to someone? What would the day be like if we were consciously kind to people in the way we chose to speak and to act? Most of us are not unkind people, but kindness is not always consciously in the forefront of our thinking.
February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day. A random act of kindness is something extra, a kindness over and above what we would normally do, or to someone we would not normally interact with. A small gift of time or effort that makes someone else’s day better, and they might not even know we did it. Or you could tell them and suggest that they pass it on, offering a little kindness to someone else.
If this appeals to you, you could have a look at the website of randomactsofkindness.org – ideas for passing it on at school, at work and out and about.
Reverend Hewitt, Well-Being Coach