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Get Ready for Random Acts of Kindness Week 2015


Random Acts of Kindness Week this year falls on 9th to 15th February. It all began with The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded upon the belief in kindness, who are dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.

My favourite thing about RAK week is that it comes around Valentine's Day, that awful day where we're supposed to profess our love for someone with a 'token' of tackiness that's likely to cost way over the odds. Rather than buying into what big businesses deem appropriate RAK week gives us another focus, the far more appealing and fulfilling focus of carrying out random acts of kindness of our choice for a whole week, and not just to the people you love, but to complete strangers too. How good is that? It's not all about how much we spend, it's as far reaching and varied as our imagination will allow. Take a moment to browse the stories and ideas on the RAK website and you'll not only find yourself smiling but you'll get some great tips for your own RAKs too.

Research has shown that a single act of kindness can lead to dozens more. Political scientist James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and medical sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University conducted research that shows cooperative behaviour is contagious and spreads from person to person to person. So when people benefit from kindness they "pay it forward" by helping others and this creates a cascade of dozens more RAKs in a social network. How much nicer would the world be if we all took the time to do just one kind thing each day?

So to get you ready for RAK week we thought we'd share 5 quick and easy acts of kindness you can start with to get some practice in:

Say Thank You

Not just in a coffee shop or supermarket, think about people who you're really grateful for be it a partner, parent, teacher, colleague, even your boss! If you appreciate the things they do for you or the support they give, say thank you. You should also tell them why their actions mean a lot to you too.


Everyone is so absorbed in their own little worlds these days, staring at their phones or tablets. Make a point of looking up and if you catch someone's eye, smile at them. You never know, they might just smile back. It will make you feel happier and is likely to improve theirs too, so get smiling.

Pay Someone a Compliment

Research has shown that giving someone a compliment has as big an impact on them as giving them cash does! You can tell someone you love their dress sense, their sense of humour, the colour of their hair, the way they juggle being a parent and holding down a job, or the way they handle tough situations in their life. Most likely something that you think but hadn't thought of actually saying. Today is the day to start saying them.

Pay it Forward

If you're in a coffee shop, fast food outlet, or even a petrol station, pay for the person behind you in the queue. You don't have to foot the whole bill, you can leave an amount that can be put towards their bill. This is a real random act of kindness because you'll be gone before they realise what you've done but hopefully they'll be touched enough to pay it forward themselves too. We've been known to ask participants at our taster sessions to pay it forward, we give them tea and yummy cakes and they do something kind on the way home.

Let someone go first

If you're in the queue at a checkout and the person behind you has less than you, let them go first. Or let someone ahead of you in traffic, hold the door open for someone or even offer your seat on the train/bus/tube. You'll be surprised how happy this makes them – and you – feel, give it a try.

These are just a taster of the kinds of RAKs you can do each day to make life a little happier and easier for others and yourself. Kindness has even been found to boost your business – read more here – so if you'd like some more ideas of RAKs check out the RAK website.

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Well being


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