We think the world could always use a little more kindness, that is why we wanted to celebrate World Kindness Day this year by talking about all things kindness with our fabulous (and very kind) team. World Kindness Day is an international observance that takes place on 13th November every year. It was introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement and is celebrated in many countries across the world including Canada, Australia, Nigeria and Singapore. With the uncertain times we find ourselves in, we think it is more important than ever to spread a little kindness and celebrate those around you who go out of their way to be kind.
What is the greatest act of kindness you have ever received?
Natalie: “The kindest act I have received was Bee and Amy offering me a job!”
Leona: “The greatest act of kindness for me has to be from a stranger! I once forgot my bus pass after I’d finished university and didn’t have any money to get home. It was the last bus for that evening and I was totally panicking about how I would make it home! Luckily for me a very kind lady paid my bus fare for me and helped calm my nerves by chatting to me all the way home.”
Bea: “Kindness takes many forms so this is difficult to answer, there’s the kindness of strangers that I’ve been on the receiving end of too many times to mention - through to the kindness of friends and family when I’ve gone through tough times. Sometimes it’s as simple as the gift of listening and patience. I find micro acts of kindness the best kind as even when it might be small to someone else it can have a huge impact. I remember one day when I was upset and my sister and her daughter were visiting. I went off to have a little cry (like ya do) and my niece wondered in at some point and just came straight up to me and gave me a whopper of a hug. She was about 6. It was such a powerfully human response and I’ve never forgotten it. She continues to be consistently beautiful.”
Abigail: “A recent act of kindness I received was when I was taking everything back to the garage from my market stall and everything fell off of the trolley. A homeless man ran over and helped me to pick everything up and carried it with me happily, wishing me a great day. It really made me smile!”
Amy: "When my dog Hiro was three years old he bolted out of my local park and got hit by a car. I was absolutely beside myself and didn’t know what to do. Within seconds three complete strangers were there to help, one woman called her work to take the morning off to drive me to the local animal hospital, another ran out of her home with blankets to wrap Hiro with and the third was on the phone to the local veterinary hospital booking Hiro in and also accompanied me there. Without their kindness and fast, decisive action Hiro probably wouldn’t be here today."
Bee: "In 1997 I was travelling through the Transkei with Conor, my son, who was 6 and my friend's daughter Orla who was 14 and on her big African Adventure with me. I had a beat up little white fiat panda that I used to travel around it - there was no internet connectivity like there is these days and we were in a quite a remote area off visiting a craft group I had got wind of. Honestly, we were in the middle of nowhere. We were on a bad dust road and dotted around the green hills were rondavels where the local people lived. There were sheep and cows and goats wandering around. I swerved to miss a goat and hit a pot hole. My car groaned and I realised the hole was more of a ditch and there was no way out. On closer inspection I noticed that my front tyre was blown. This was no problem as I had a spare. I just had to work out how to get the car out of the ditch... However, to my horror I found that my spare was flat as well! I had no idea what to do with one small boy and one teenage girl in the Transeki on a dirt road that was seldom travelled by others. I started imagining nightmare scenarios, my heat was beating... I had to remain clam as I did not want to worry Conor and Orla who were sitting on a grass mound counting sheep! I saw some young men approach... I was feeling a little nervous but the one smiled at me and asked what was wrong. I explained and he said no worries - they would help. They pushed my car out of the ditch and one of them disappeared with my spare tyre. We sat and chatted and all the time I was feeling slightly apprehensive.... but after around an hour we saw a bike approaching along the road and it was the guy who had taken my wheel bringing it back fixed and ready to go! They refused any extra money apart from what it had cost to fix the tyre. They asked which way I was going and I said Port Elizabeth and they asked for a lift which I was happy to give them so we all squashed in and off we went. I still have a picture drawn by Orla of how she remembered the landscape looked at and every time I look at it I realise how lucky I was that day to meet these young lads who were so kind to us."
Who is the kindest person you know?
Natalie: “That has to be my partner!”
Leona: “My mum is undoubtedly the kindest person I know. Not only does she work for our NHS, helping people who need her every day, she’s also incredibly thoughtful and selfless. She never comes to visit empty handed, usually having baked me a cake or knitted me a jumper! And she always lets me steal her chips. She really is the best.”
Bea: "I know a range of stunningly kind people, but my top three are my dad, my older sister and my soulmate, Philip."
Abigail: “The kindest person I know is my dad who always offers to help anyone and everyone whenever he can. I look up to him a lot.”
Amy: "The kindest person I know is my husband Freddy, he is so thoughtful, has endless patience and loves to take care of people. He’s always fixing things for friends (and our business!) and has the most positive outlook on life of anyone I have ever met."
Bee: "My mother - although she is not with us anymore - she was the kindest person I knew. She would never walk past a homeless person without giving them something little - in South Africa there were many. She would usually give them food or buy them a cup of tea. She would feeds stray cats and stray dogs every night at 3 or 4 spots around the area we lived in. She looked after 3 old ladies who were bed ridden - taking them food and helping them get to hospital. she always made sure she was friendly and spoke to everyone and never gave the feeling that she was above anyone. She grew up in East London and survived the Blitz so she always said she was thankful for every day she was alive!"
What one little act of kindness do you try to practice everyday?
Natalie: “I always try to help out 1 person that I don’t know.”
Leona: “I know it sounds so simple, but I always try and say good morning to people as I’m walking to work! I know whenever someone does the same to me it really brightens my day.”
Bea: “I always try and remind people about the good they do and tell them something fabulous about themselves, all too often we forget how good it feels to have positive reminders, rather than negativity which tends to drain energy. If we each said something kind to each other everyday how much better would life be?”
Abigail: “A little act of kindness I try to practice is always celebrating other people whenever I can, a few compliments can make someone's day.”
Amy: "This year has been tough for everybody but I’ve especially seen my friends who live alone really struggle. I am trying to remember to be extra thoughtful when it comes to these friends, making sure I make regular contact with those who don’t have daily company."
Bee: "Just to help where I can and never walk away from a situation that I can make a little bit better."
We hope that reading all about these acts of kindness has lifted your spirits and maybe inspired you to reach out and do something kind today, whether it is for a loved one or a complete stranger. If you are looking for ways to spread a little kindness, why not donate to a local food shelter or charity? Times are tougher than usual for most and every little really does help. Or if you are looking for ways to support your favourite local businesses, you can read our blog post here. You can also read our previous blog post about ways to be kind to your mind during lockdown here.