Tuesday, 13th November marks World Kindness Day. It is true that “a little kindness goes a long way”. I live by the belief that when you do something out of kindness, you should expect nothing in return. Something which may seem insignificant to you may have a huge impact on someone else. It is when you choose to make the effort, to make the choice to be selfless, that you show you really care about the individual who benefits from your kindness. So what can you do to be more kind?
Things you can do for friends and flatmates:
At university, it is very easy to get caught up in your work (especially in final year!) but it is so crucial to make time for and be there for your friends.
- Offer to cook for one of your friends, especially if you know they’ve had a tough day/week. By offering to do something such as this, you have the chance to improve their outlook.
- Surprise a friend with something they really want. This may be something small, such as a book, some chocolate or even a coffee, but this may make a huge difference to their day.
- Be a good listener. Acts of kindness do not always mean you have to spend money. Taking the time out of your own day to listen to any worries your friends may have, is sometimes all that you need to do.
Things you can do for your family:
It is easy to feel distanced from your family whilst at university, psychologically as well as physically, so do something considerate that will remind them, they are loved.
- Send them a card to let them know that whilst you’re still busily trying to get on with academic/society work, you still care about them. It’s these things in life that matter.
- Phone them for no specific reason. Don’t just call them if you want something. Instead, show a genuine interest in their life and ask how things are back at home.
- Acts that are unexpected go a long way. When you’re back at home, offer to do the laundry, wash up or even make dinner. I’m no MasterChef but I know that when I choose to make the effort to cook for my family, it is appreciated!
You have the possibility to make the world a happier place, and you can do this by making someone else’s life a little happier
Things you can do for strangers:
Doing something kind for someone you don’t know is an excellent way to brighten up someone’s day.
- Help someone in need of assistance (for example, someone who looks lost or needs help crossing a road). Whilst you may not have an obligation to help strangers, nonetheless, if you see someone struggling in public, help them!
- Make someone feel valued by actually asking about their day and showing an interest. The phrase ‘have a good day’ gets thrown around a lot, especially for example, in customer service. Rather than just saying ‘have a good day’, why don’t you say, ‘how has your day been?’ or ‘what are you doing today?’. Start a conversation with someone and show that their life, is just as important as yours.
My dad taught me from a young age that if you want a friend, you have to be a friend. I have always tried to be the best possible friend to anyone who comes into my life and make a positive impact. A simple compliment or even a smile may drastically improve someone’s day. You have the possibility to make the world a happier place, and you can do this by making someone else’s life a little happier.