Psychologists agree: we are hard-wired to kindness and the desire to help.
If you look at what is happening in the world, you may be surprised.
However, if you consider that your view of the world depends massively on what News you expose yourself to, it might give you a different perspective.
Why not taking your our own experiences as a reference – and start shaping the world you want to live in?
When I take a look at my professional and private environment and evaluate the encounters and situations that I am grateful to experience every week on my travels, it feels like friendliness really matters.
And it works best, if you are the one to initiate it.
Try it out with RAOKs. RAOK stands for “Random Acts of Kindness”.
The nice thing about it: doing good for others (without expecting anything) makes yourself happier and more satisfied. This is because generous behavior activates a brain area that is closely linked to our reward center. It also changes our self-image – we perceive ourselves as a person who is capable, competent and able to help others. This view enhances self-esteem and serenity.
Everyone can contribute to more joy in the world with those small gestures of generosity. And since joy is contagious, it is not only the receiving people who benefit from it but also all the others who will meet the happy receipients of kindness.
RAOKs could look like this:
- Bring some self made cakes or cookies for your colleagues
- Smile at a stranger on the street – preferably at one who seems to need it
- Declutter your wardrobe and donate the clothes – preferrably hand them in personally
- Leave a book your finished reading with the message: “Gift to the finder, have fun reading” on the train.
- At the bakery buy for yourself and for the person behind you in the the row
- Write a “thank you” card.
- Give the postman a cookie or candy
- Express your gratitude
- Give honest compliments
- Buy a ticket for public transport and leave it behind in the vending machine
- Buy a lottery ticket and put it under the windscreen wipers of an old Looking car.
- Buy a few bars of good chocolate and put them in the mailboxes of your neighborhood
- Write a positive review about a restaurant or a bar you liked
- Donate old sheets and towels to an animal shelter
I am pretty sure you have many more beautiful ideas!
More inspiration can be found under the Hashtag #randomactsofkindness.
By the way, do you already know the initiative “Suspended Coffee”? Meanwhile over 300 cafés in Germany, Austria and Switzerland take part in it (suspendedcoffee.de). You simply buy a coffee or another product, which you don’t use, but donate. The donation is noted as “to pass on” – and given to a person who cannot afford it. All they have to do is go to the shop and ask for the “passed-on item”.
Maybe you would like to encourage your favourite café to take part in this initiative?
How about one RAOK day every week?
A day on which you consciously do something good?
Pass it on!
PS: and don’t forget to include yourself in the circle of people to whom you regularly do something good 🙂