Tag Archives: kindness

Friday Finds – Keeping it Kind

6 Jul

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for kindness and random acts thereof.  I’ve written a couple of posts about being kind (if you missed them you can have another read here and here).  I like the feeling that kindness gives me, and the changes I see it making in others.  It’s not hard to be kind, and if there was more of it going around I think the world would be a happier and more harmonious place to be.

Today’s Friday Finds isn’t a thing that you can touch and feel, it isn’t a new super cool design trend or must have outdoor designer piece.  It’s a blog that I follow, and always makes me smile.  Kindness Girl thinks up different ideas to spread the message of kindness in ways that are different and sometimes just a little bit magical.  Interwoven with the Kindness projects are stories of her own children and family.  Entirely relatable and full of love, Patience has a knack for creating beauty both through her images, her words and her actions.

If you’re in need for a kindness hit, a little bit of love or a dose of the warm and fuzzy’s, take some time out and visit Kindness Girl or her Guerrilla Goodness page.

Sam

Note: all photos from http://www.Kindnessgirl.com

Does kindness = happiness?

27 May

I’ve been trying to be kinder lately.  I recently asked the question “have you been kind today?” in a post.  I’ve not really gone out of my way, haven’t planned any over the top grand kindness gestures, I’ve just been doing the things we should really be doing, but that are sometimes forgotten in the daily rush of things.  I’ve been doing things that don’t come so naturally to my generally more shy personality.  I’ve been chatting to more people, saying hello more often and definitely smiling more.  I’ve helped upset kids in the playground find their lost Mums and let the Drama Queen’s friends at child care treat me like their climbing frame.  I’ve tried to help where I can, and generally spread some happy karma into the world.

I thought I might take stock of this kindness and see if it has made a difference to my general happiness, and because I’ve been joining in the Seven Cherubs Happy Days in May project, it’s perfect timing to reflect while I’m posting my weekly happiness post.

Has it made me happier? Has mindful kindness affected my general mood and made my world a happier place? The short answer is yes, or at least I think it has.  I feel as though the people I interact with seem happier.  Maybe it’s because I’m reaping what I sow and the energy I’m sending into the world is being reflected back.  I’ve definitely had a lot more casual conversations with strangers in the street.  I have seen a lot more people smiling, and it looks like they’re returning my smile a lot of the time.  My general mood has been a lot better and my patience with the little inconveniences of life is definitely improving.  I haven’t measured anything, don’t have any facts and figures, just a general feeling and a hunch, and that hunch says that kindness does equal happiness.

I do have a kindness highlight that I would love to share.  About 18 months ago I had a bus trip into the city.  While this in itself isn’t extraordinary, I catch a bus quite often, the bus driver I had on this trip was extraordinary.  She embodied all that is kind and happy.  In a world where it is all too easy to just go through the motions, this bus driver went out of her way to greet every single passenger onto her bus.  I chatted to her on the trip into the city, and it made my journey unforgettable.  I went home and sent an e-mail to the transit authority thanking and praising this bus driver.  I hoped that she had received a copy of the e-mail because I knew she deserved to know how much happiness she had injected into my day.  This isn’t where my story ends.

This week I was out shopping with the Daredevil, I was waiting for a lift and started chatting to a lady about the lifts and which one would come first.  The lady looked familiar, and when I saw the Sydney Buses logo on her shirt the penny dropped.  This was my bus driver, the one who had given me the best bus riding experience ever!  I couldn’t let the opportunity pass, I mustered up the courage and asked.  It turns out that not only was she my bus driver, but she had also recognised my face and remembered that I had been on my first night out without the Daredevil (he was only 6 months old at the time).  Unfortunately she hadn’t received a copy of my e-mail, but I think I made her day by remembering her and thanking her in person.  I know it made my day!

Now for my Happy Days in May update.  If you want to catch up on the last couple of weeks, you can see post 1 here, post 2 here and post 3 here.

21 May 2012 – I ran into my bus driver lady today!

22 May 2012 – Today I got to be a eucalyptus tree for the Drama Queen’s imaginative child care Koala friends –  lots and lots of laughing.

23 May 2012 – Mt Perfect went away for a boys golf escape, so the Munchkins and I got to have carpet picnics for dinner.

24 May 2012 – Mr Perfect and I escaped for our night of culture at the theatre, I always feel happy being immersed in another world, another reality and expanding my creative horizons, though Jack Thompson’s smooth voice almost put me to sleep!

25 May 2012 – An afternoon nap for all of us recharged the batteries.

26 May 2012 – Lunch with the family at the Hard Rock Cafe – cocktails, too much food and Brownies to die for, Yum!

27 May 2012 – A morning of garden creation with the family lead to smiles,  a lot of mud and a big mess to clean up, hope our green grows!

I’m off to polish up my smile for tomorrow!

Sam

Have you been kind today?

12 May

Kindness generally doesn’t cost anything, but has a value beyond measure.  There is a burgeoning kindness movement starting to sweep across the globe.  Google “kindness” and you’ll find a whole heap of kindness movement websites and associations.  They tell you about being kind, it’s benefits, ways to be kind and all about world kindness day, and information about the activities they have organised.  These sites are great.  They are happy places and you leave them with a bit of a warm and fuzzy feeling, hoping that everyone will find their site and just implement one or two of the ideas.  My favourite idea for today is

Drop a few coins in an area where children play, where they can easily find them. Do you remember how excited you felt, when as a child you found a coin lying on the ground? – from Australian Kindness Movement

But now it has left me wondering whether our world has become so self absorbed that we need kindness associations and movements?  When I was young my sisters and I were taught to smile, because it not only makes you happy, but everyone else that sees it too.  A smile seems to me to be the general communication of kindness.  It is rare that a kind act isn’t accompanied by a smile.  I don’t think I see quite so many smiles out and about that I used to and I’m hoping that this isn’t a reflection on how much I’m smiling, I don’t think it is, at least I hope not!

I like to smile.  I like to smile at shop assistants, when I travelled in the UK, I made a game out of smiling at the shop assistants and telling them that I hoped they had a great day.  Sometimes I was greeted with a scared look – what’s this crazy Aussie chick trying?  Sometimes I got a surprised little smile.  And a couple of times they replied with “You’re the first person to say that to me today” and we had a bit of a chat, apparently it’s not all that common to be kind to shop assistants in London, other areas of the UK are different.  It was easy, didn’t cost me anything, and made a difference to somebodies day.

Do we treat our shop assistants, service professionals, tradesmen, waiters, teachers, nurses, insert appropriate occupation here, that poorly?  There are numerous stories of increasing stress levels in service occupations.  Hospitals and schools are full of signs asking people to be polite and non aggressive.  Have we become so focused on ourselves that we forget that we have an impact on others?  What in the world are we doing?

Kindness can’t be seen or measured, but if you make a choice to be kind, make the choice to give to the world what you want to receive, then we can create the kind of world we want to live in, but you need to start with yourself.

My challenge to you today is to be kind.  Smile more, worry less.  Say hello, ask how someone’s day has been.  Leave some loose change for the kids in the playground.  Make someone else smile.  Be kind to your family, your community, to the earth.  Maybe, just maybe, it will change your day, your experience, your environment.  If you’re not really up to getting out there, how about just be kind to your garden, not only will your plants love you, but the benefits will spread beyond your fence.  You can even be cyber kind.  Bloggers love getting comments and likes (hint, hint) it really makes us smile!!!

I’m starting by just laughing with the Drama Queen while she steals biscuits from the pantry, hiding behind a wall of open cupboard doors.  Then we might move on to some more hard core kindness I know the Drama Queen and Daredevil will be up for the game, Mr Perfect will warm up to the challenge too.  Maybe I’ll post something about what we did and how we went next week.

Sam

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