Random Acts of Kindness
Conscious kindness is one of the most powerful things that we can do to positively change our world and our emotional state and random acts of kindness are a fantastic way to do this. Apart from being really valuable for the people who receive your acts of kindness, kindness will also improve your own health, longevity, levels of happiness, relationships and social connections! And what is more, anyone who witnesses your kindness also gets these benefits and is more likely to do acts of kindness and generosity because of it!
Whenever we act in kind and generous ways we cause ripples of kindness to spread out into the world around us!
What are Random Acts of Kindness
These are kind acts we commit purely motivated by wanting to spread kindness and joy, as well as to uplift and support other members of our community and human family. They may be planned or spontaneous acts of kindness. They may be direct or indirect. They may be anonymous or not.
There is an international Random Acts of Kindness Day every February (normally at the weekend, so it changes from year to year), followed by an optional Random Acts of Kindness week. #RAKday #RAKweek. This event is brilliant because it can often inspire many more people to carry out RAKs and experience the positive impact they can make.
Keys to Random Acts of Kindness
These keys will make your random acts of kindness more powerful:
- Try different kind actions. Variety is key.
- Some of your kind actions should require that you make some kind of effort.
- Try new ones out.
- Be anonymous about some of them.
- The more often that you do them the more joy you experience and share
Paying it Forwards
The concept of Paying It Forwards refers to the idea that when we do something kind for someone, free from expectation of receiving anything in return but rather the hope that the recipient of your kind act might be inspred to do some kind act for another person at some time in the future.
We are all bound by a rule of reciprocation, that is “that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.” This obligation to repay favours that we have received is deeply woven into our human psyche because it has been so necessary for the successful evolution of human society. Reciprocal generosity enabled us to share food and skills, co-operate, work together and build trust. However, in recent years, this automatic response has been misused by the advertising and marketing industry to manipulate us into buying various goods and services. As such, we have lost much trust in others and can often be unconsciously wary about why people might help us or the debt that we may be obliged to repay.
Acting from the perspective of paying it forwards allows the recipients of our kindness to just accept and appreciate the experience and probably to be inspired to act in a more generous and kind way themselves, in the future. However, as this is an uncommon perspective it can be helpful to explain it to people. To make this process easier I have designed a Paying It Forwards card that you can just give to people when you do Random Acts of Kindness. You can get a template for these cards by filling out the form on this page.
Loving Kindness Meditation
Is another brilliant way to practice and develop our capacity for expressing kindness both towards ourselves and others.
I have recorded a 36 minute Heart Meditation with music which is available as an Mp3.