By: Cristina Stanger, Self-Advocacy Liaison
I’ve written before in the Family Pulse newsletter about giving yourself grace which, in a lot of ways, means showing kindness to your own self. But let’s explore the idea of kindness expressed toward others. You may or may not know that Friday, February 17, 2023, is Random Acts of Kindness Day. And while in a perfect world, every day would be Random Acts of Kindness Day, it’s nice to have a day to remember to reach out to others.
I realise that ‘random act of kindness’ is an established societal phrase of sorts, but the word ‘random’ still strikes me as somewhat odd, because usually your act of kindness involves some intentional decision making. Perhaps it means that help is given when not explicitly requested — let’s face it, asking for help can be hard — so the kind act may appear random to the one on the receiving end?
For the purposes of my own personal understanding, I am going to interpret ‘random’ as meaning ‘unprompted’. So, whether you reach out to an old friend, leave a kind note for a family member, or offer to help a neighbour complete a task, it’s nice to think outside of ourselves and do something nice for someone else.
In 2022, Steph shared her favourite Acts of Kindness with us for Random Acts of Kindness Day!
And guess what? Not only are you brightening someone’s day, you — as the kindnessgiver — will also get a plus. It’s been shown that doing kind things for others boosts your own mood and self-esteem. Sometimes I have trouble connecting with others and meeting new people, and I’ve discovered that small acts of kindness can help spark relationships, which can in turn help build community.
After three years of pandemic living, the majority of people are feeling strained, stressed, and burnt out. Putting a little extra kindness out into the world never hurts. Whether it is something small or big, I encourage you to do a kindness experiment by generating an unprompted act of kindness, then observe the positive ripple effect you create.