Really, there are some seriously quirky ideas for charity events and days of celebration. The current craze for the ALS ice bucket challenge was one that instantly sprang to mind. Movember and the breast cancer Moonwalk were not far behind. I guess charities and awareness groups are having to find ever more unique ideas to get their events to stand out from the crowd and get people to put their hands in their pockets and donate, or contribute their time and effort.
September 1st has an event that I really like. New Zealand celebrates Random Acts of Kindness Day, or RAK Day for short. There are other Random Act of Kindness events on other days around the world, but from what I can tell, New Zealand is the only country which has recognised it nationally. I think it is a lovely, easy way to encourage people to think about others.
Any little nice gesture you like, to any person you like. It could even be to a group of people, an animal or charity – just anyone other than yourself. Like what? Well, something like helping someone carry their shopping bags, giving up your seat on a bus, checking in on a lonely neighbour, giving a bunch of flowers to someone you feel really deserves a pick-me-up, babysitting for a friend to give them an evening out. Once I started thinking there were loads of possibilities.
I love the simplicity of this concept; it is so accessible for anyone to take part. I’d like to think I’m a friendly, community minded person, so little gestures of kindness are something I try to make a habit of. And I try to teach my daughter by good examples I set. So I’m adopting a little slice of New Zealand culture and joining in with RAK day!
Every week we go to an active play session, run by a group of volunteers. Little miss absolutely loves going and bouncing on the trampoline, riding on the tricycles, playing with her friends, and clambering about on the soft play area. And none of it would be possible if there weren’t a group of dedicated people who turn up every week to run the session.
My gratefulness was the catalyst for my random act of kindness – taking some home-baked goodies along for the volunteers as a thank you. Sadly I didn’t read about RAK day until about 15 minutes before we needed to leave the house to get to the play session. Not enough time to bake, and I don’t keep a stash of such things in the house – I am weak-willed and they are far too much of a temptation! So I will bake and take next week. I might even get my daughter involved in the action. She’s only very young, but I think with a little effort we can probably manage some teamwork with frosting and sprinkles! An even more random act of kindness…this particular one will be a whole week late!
Is there a similar day or event where you are? I’m really intrigued about what other people have done as their personal random acts of kindness, so I’d love to hear if you’ve joined in the fun. Or perhaps reading this post has inspired you to make your own random act of kindness? What a lovely thought for a Monday that would be.
‘This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness’