Random Acts of Kindness
June 5, 2020
In ‘Dialogues and Essays’, the Roman philosopher Seneca wrote:
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness”
The importance and effects of kindness are difficult to overstate. One piece of research describes kindness as “the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage”. The link between acts of generosity and overall happiness has been established in numerous studies. Another piece of research found that for people aged 55 and above, those who regularly volunteer for two or more organisations have a 44% lower likelihood of dying early, even after adjusting for physical health, exercise, gender, smoking/drinking and marital status.
I wonder when was the last time you experienced an act of pure kindness? A simple selfless act can often have a positive effect well in excess of the minimal effort it takes to think about what might enrich or assist somebody else. Being part of a family or community that regularly demonstrates its love for each other through acts of kindness is a wonderful blessing.
TIGS is a school that flourishes through daily small acts of kindness. Our welcoming and inclusive culture is achieved through the numerous selfless gestures of staff and students who want to be part of a community that cares for each individual. As Head of Senior School it is my hope, and indeed my experience, that the kindness and care we promote within TIGS community flows liberally into relationships and communities far beyond the school gates.
As Christians we know that the Bible encourages exactly this kind of behaviour as it brings glory to God:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” Matthew 5:14-16
A few years ago, I worked with a group of students to design a list of 10 ways we could show kindness and care to our friends and neighbours – the list is below. I’m planning to keep this list on my desk as we go into the final weeks of term and my aim is to be more purposeful in the kindness I try to show to those around me – perhaps you would like to join me?
Random Acts of Kindness
- Practice being unfailingly polite to each new person that you meet.
- Swap places with the person behind you in a queue.
- Say something nice about someone even when they’re not there to hear it.
- Forgive someone.
- Give up your seat for someone else on the bus/ train.
- Pick up a piece of litter every day and put it in the bin.
- Aim to pay five compliments throughout a day.
- Write a card or letter to a distant friend or relative.
- Look for an opportunity to help out around the house.
- Be intentional in saying thank you.