The time has come when we cannot just rely on others to make the world a better place – each one of us has to do our bit.

Kindness is contagious –you might want to consider carrying out random acts of kindness on a daily basis. It is about recognising how your behaviour affects others and holding yourself accountable for your actions. For example, contrast someone being well mannered and kind, with someone being rude.  We don’t like rude people do we?!

Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. I think often of when I have experienced kindness from others, you sometimes want to think ‘what is the catch, there is no such thing as a free lunch, etc’ yet, for the many genuine, lovely people out there, there is no catch, it’s how they are wired and they love giving. Importantly, these people don’t expect in return.

How many of us think each day or even each week ‘what can I do for someone today that will help them’  – be this someone you know or a random stranger.

Last week on Valentine’s day, I wore a bright red coat given to me by my sister (me wearing something so ‘loud’ is very unusual, I stood out like a sore thumb and was quite conscious of this new colour on me), and as I was walking through the Market Square, a guy selling the ‘Big issue’ shouted out in front of all of the pedestrians and said: “Hey, lady in red, they wrote a song about you…”

This really put a smile on my face (and my face very quickly matched my red coat!) In fact, tomorrow when I am in Nottingham, I will be going to take him a hot drink and a sandwich, he made my day. 

I can think of so many things I can do to offer an act of kindness and National Acts of Kindness Day on 17th February reminds us all that these acts are RANDOM, come on impulse and come from the heart.

I’m sure you all can think of your own ideas but if not, to get you started, I have listed some ideas below:

  • Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past. Like a real letter, on paper. And mail it! 
  • Tweet or Facebook message a genuine compliment to a customer, client, supplier, friend, etc
  • Bring doughnuts (or a healthy treat, like cut-up fruit) to work
  • Offer a homeless person a hot drink and a sandwich
  • Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking (surprisingly few people master this)
  • Compliment someone to their boss
    Leave a waiter/ress the biggest tip you can afford
  • Smile at someone on the street, just because
  • Let someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush just like you
  • Forgive someone, and never bring up the issue again
  • Give someone a book you think they’d like
  • Give someone a hug ☺
  • Call your grandparents, call your parents, give them something like your time and patience
  • Call the friend that has been on your mind for some time
  • Think about those you know suffering from illness, bereavement, worry and let them know you care
  • Think about others for a moment, less fortunate than you are and think about how you can make their day nicer
  • Write something nice on that person’s updates who posts on Facebook constantly. They’re probably lonely
  • Let someone else have the parking space you were going to go for
  • Remind yourself that everyone is fighting their own struggles
  • Write your partner a list of things you love about them
  • Tidy up your children’s bedrooms – just because you can. Put sticky notes on their mirror and tell them how much you love them
  • Say thank you and mean it
  • Talk to someone at work whom you haven’t spoken to before
  • Text someone just to say good morning or good night
  • Give up your seat to someone (anyone!) on the tram, bus or tube.
  • Make plans with that person you’ve been putting off seeing.

When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to leave yourself alone — you deserve kindness too!