Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Simple Acts of Kindness

This morning I opened an email from my mum in Autralia, expecting the normal family gossip; who my brother is dating now, how hot the weather is there compared to London- the usual stuff. But I was completely gobsmacked by her email, reading something that I never expected to read.

Three months ago I had lost my Oyster Card, with my Australian Driving License inside it and twenty pounds. To mine, and my mum’s surpise, it has turned up at my home address in Melbourne with a little note saying, ‘I found this somewhere in Old Street’. No return address, no reward wanted, just a simple act of kindness. This got me thinking, what good deed can I do to make someone’s day that little bit better? And the chain reaction of paying it forward ensues.

One of our Wedgers, Katherine, was subject to a simple act of kindness. She was buying juice in a newsagents during our last long, cold Winter. She handed over the carton and coins, when the shop keeper remarked, ‘It’s cold outside,’ looking at Katherine’s naked hands. ‘Here, have some gloves,’ he said, taking a pair from behind his counter and handing them to her. She was completely warmed, not just her hands, by this lovely gesture.

What small things make your day? A smile in a shop, and a shopkeeper engaging in conversation with you? Someone holding the door open, or letting you out of the tube before people pour in? Small gestures like this can turn around someone’s day, and make that figure next to you a fellow human being.

Written by Lauren Ottaway.

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