I saw a blog recently that is all about random acts of kindness. To give it a plug, here is the link, it’s lovely. Really worth a read. Anyway, it resonated with me and I wanted to think about ways that I could live more kindly, or thoughtfully, myself. My reason for wanting to make more of an effort with this is entirely unoriginal, I wanted to counteract some of the television violence, casual racism, and general negativity that seems to be abundant in our world right now.
I got very excited about anonymously setting out random pretty items along my street, and then (in my expanding visions of grandeur!) over my city for people to stumble across and take home, wondering all the while who would do such a nice thing without wanting any thanks or recognition.
I hung this string of cotton bunting in a tree outside my house and waited in a froth of anticipation for someone’s day to be made by my gesture. Three hours later it was still there. Come evening it was still there and I felt snubbed. Pissed off. Fine, I thought. I’ll just take it down. That will teach them. No kindness for you.
I had got it completely wrong. This wasn’t an act of kindness or even anything particularly thoughtful because I had done this for myself. I wanted people to be thinking kindly of me. Truth is, I don’t even like that bunting. That’s why I had hung it out there in the first place.
After thinking again I have spent my week trying to be kind and thoughtful in smaller, more genuine ways.
I returned my shopping trolley to the inside of the supermarket to save someone having to collect it in the rain. I said ‘yes’ to a friend storing his stuff in our garage. I stopped shoving my cat off the sunny spots on the couch.
This, I can keep up.