When was the last time you did a random act of kindness, just because you could?
Well thanks to the Wake Up Project, they have made the process of evoking your natural capacity for kindness and wisdom that much easier, by sending you free kindness cards to use as you wish. This simple gesture really has the capacity to touch a person, or least makes them smile for the day.
I came across one of these ‘kindness’ cards last month while I was in a cafe. When I went to pay for my green tea the cashier said no need and instead of handing me a bill I was given a card (and a smile) saying that my drink has been paid for, the card simply asked me to pay it forward. And you know what, it was a beautiful feeling.
Research has shown that acts of kindness does not only benefit receivers of the kind act, but also the giver, as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of contentment and relaxation when such acts are committed.
‘One kind person, multiplied by 1000’s, creates a kindness revolution.’
Creator Jono Fisher explains why he started the movement in Australia. ‘In 2009, I started an experiment – to create a community that combined music, film, meditation and conversation to celebrate “kindness & wisdom”. I left my job, designed some “kindness cards” and booked a venue for our first ever event. My fingers were crossed that a few people would show up. To my delight, the event sold-out and nearly 400 people attended!
We’re now a community of 15,000+ people. We’ve posted out 80,000 kindness cards and held events for 12,000 guests. It’s been a wonderful journey bringing together world leading speakers, musicians & artists to help create a kinder & wiser world.
I believe qualities like kindness, mindfulness and wisdom are no longer luxuries, but necessities for a healthy, creative and sustainable society.’
Here are three simple ways you could use your kindness cards:
1. Pay for someone’s coffee/tea
2. Leave flowers on your neighbors doorstep
3. Place chocolates (dark of course!) on a work colleague’s desk
But you don’t have to reply on Kindness Cards to be involved in good deeds – there are a plethora of kind acts you could be doing to lighten up someone’s day, below are a few ideas:
• Give someone a complement and watch their face light up
• Donate blood, you never know when your nearest and dearest will be in need
• Wake up early and cook your partner/friend/parents a healthy hearty breakfast
• Donate to charity
• Give a really good book you have finished to a loved one or leave on a bus seat for a stranger
• Get out a pen and paper and write an old fashion letter to an old friend to let them know you still care
• And while you are at it, write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life and tell them
• Give a care package to the homeless, there are so many things we take for granted
• Baby sit for a friend so they can go have a massage you booked for them
• Clean out your wardrobe and give everything to a charity rather than selling on eBay
• Give free advice to people in your field who are just starting out
• Hold the door open for someone, this is just polite manners really
• Say good morning to a stranger on your morning walk, this is something has been lost in translation from country living to city dwellers – let’s bring it back!
• Support a friend who wants to lose weight by showing up to every early morning bootcamp class with them
• Make a point of introducing yourself to that person you see all of the time but never say hello to.
• Be someone’s cheerleader
• Help a colleague out on a project you know they are stressing over. Yes even when you are busy
• Adopt from a pound rather than a pet shop, you will be rewarded with love every day from that moment forward
• Put some coins in an expired parking meter
• Be thoughtful – did your co-worker have a bad day today? Bring her a coffee tomorrow morning.
• Share – even if you don’t really want to
• Call your parents and say thanks
• Pay for the coffee, the toll, or the bus fare for the person behind you
• Send a friend flowers, just because