Every so often, Mr Kiwi jokingly says I go into my ‘big think’ mode. It when my brain overturns a thought, round and round, much like a smooth river stone flipped by the currents. Most recently, it was the power of small kindnesses.
You know the ones I mean. Small kindnesses. Tiny kindnesses. The moments that feel like they’ll never change the world, but you never know quite how much they will.
Returning a dropped soft toy to a babe in a pram. Offering a tissue to someone sneezing. Telling someone genuinely just how much you like their dress. Asking if someone is ok when they look upset. Bringing your elderly neighbour’s rubbish bin in from the street.
Making a cuppa for a stressed out Mum, or entertaining the 2-year-old on the restaurant table next to you whilst her Dad surreptitiously feeds her.
The incredible Mother Pukka occasionally puts up an Instagram post asking for people to share their stories of the kindness of strangers, and each time I full on Gwennie cry at how simple kindnesses can be – and how much they can make a difference to people.
I read somewhere that a guy was walking around with his girlfriend one early evening, and she asked him why he was grinning as every stranger that he passed. He replied ‘I read the other day that making a connection, even as quickly as a smile, could be the reason that someone changes their mind about committing suicide.’
Isn’t that such powerful food for thought?
There are two schools of thought; one that say that a random act of kindness can’t really be random if you tell everyone; it needs to be done quietly and not lorded about. I think I’m more aligned with the second school of thought – share it without ego, and who knows what you may influence, even subconsciously.
So smile at that lonely old lady wobbling down the street, donate the cost of a coffee and croissant to a needy cause, volunteer for a day, clean out that overflowing closest to a nearby charity store, sign up to donate blood.