The Sunny Days Project: Quotes To Live By #2
In my recent blog post Reasons To Be Cheerful #2 I ended with the following quote. Occasionally I like to blog about what a particular quote means to me.
Kind people are often seen as weak people, someone who is naive or a bit of a mug and I don’t know how as a society we have reached that conclusion.
There seems to a general lack of kindness around nowadays. People don’t care about each other in the ways that they used to. Even in my lifetime I feel like we have become less of a caring society. It’s odd really because on the one hand we have probably never supported charities as much as we do in the present day, and yet there seems to be a feeling of ‘looking after number one’ that pervades.
Giving Time to Others
As a society we live fast and busy lives and I think that often makes us more impatient than we used to be. I know I am guilty of it too, becoming exasperated at a delay whilst getting served in a shop or someone getting in my way when I am trying to hurry somewhere. We don’t always stop to pass the time of day in ways that we might have done in the past, we’re always too busy. Maybe if we did stop and say hello or ask people if they are okay we might find out a little bit more about them and ourselves.
Sometimes it’s hard to be kind, someone might rub you up the wrong way or the kids might be pressing all of your buttons. At that point you really have to take a step back, a deep breath and grin and bear it. By being mean-spirited you usually end up not just making someone else feel bad, but also making yourself feel rubbish and that’s never a good thing. Being kind actually makes us feel better!
Random Acts of Kindness
I’ve always loved the idea of random acts of kindness, I know that they can become a bit saccharine and sensationalised particularly on social media but I think that there are so many ways to be kind, little things that might just brighten someone’s day.
I remember a few months ago I was in the local supermarket trying to buy stamps and they didn’t have any. I was quite stressed that day due to one thing and another and it was the last straw (first world problems anyone?!). A woman in the queue gave me a stamp. I was so touched, she even refused to take any money for it. It’s the kind of thing that is so little, but actually meant so much to me and I must admit that prior to this I was a little bit short with the shop assistant, so it did stop me in my tracks.
Charity and Voluntary Work
Giving to charity is great either in monetary terms or in goods that you don’t need anymore. What about actually giving time to charity though? Throughout my life I have tried where possible to do some type of voluntary work and have done all kinds from volunteering at a psychiatric hospital to teaching English to a Somali family, working in a voluntary role with the Probation Service to being a primary school governor.
My main reason for volunteering is because I want to give back to society (cheesy as that may sound). I’m not going to lie though, I also volunteer because I find that getting involved gives me a new perspective and takes me out of myself and a tendency to dwell on my own problems. I’m looking at ways I can get involved with a relatively new charity in my town who are doing amazing things for the Syrian refugee crisis. I’m planning to take the eldest along to do some packing up of supplies and am pondering if I could contribute in some way with my writing skills.
With all the awful things going on in the world recently, little acts of kindness can give everyone a boost.
Smiling and saying hello to people
Doing favours without expecting anything in return
Sending a little note or card to someone going through a hard time, to let them know you’re thinking of them
Having a chat and a cup of tea with a neighbour who lives alone
Doing some voluntary work
There are so many little things to do that would make the world a kinder place and they also make you a happier person, which can only be a good thing, can’t it?