Updated: Apr 24
Recently, I’ve been touched by the number of interactions I have had with people who have gifted me something and when I have offered payment, they have simply suggested that I pay the act of kindness forward or I have felt inspired to do something nice for someone else without wanting anything in return.
Within the past few weeks, I have received a punnet of tomatoes, a book that I was just about to buy, placemats for my dining table, plant pots and some lollipops (which my children were especially delighted about!) - I have gifted clothes, flowers, cupcakes and a coaching session. All seemingly small things, though they make a significant impact through the ripple effect that they have.
According to Dr David R Hamilton Phd, acts of kindness do not need to be grand in scale; even very minor acts, like letting someone jump a queue or donating money to charity can be enough to produce a significant gain in terms of increased happiness and positivity levels. In his book Why Kindness Is Good for You, David shares that research has shown people who perform random acts of kindness for other people are happier and more positive.
Dr Robert Emmons, a psychologist and Lab Director University of California, Berkeley, suggests that paying a kindness forward can be the ultimate form of expressing true gratitude. It can serve as a ‘key link between receiving and giving’ moving the ‘recipient to share and increase the very good they have received’.
In 1997 Dr Emmons conducted a series of studies with Michael McCullough, a psychologist at the University of Miami, that led them to discover scientific evidence that when people regularly express gratitude for things, people, and places they are appreciative of in their lives, each day they end up happier, healthier, and more optimistic about the future.
I like to think that Random Acts of Kindness make the world a better place and that they are a great way of us playing our part in creating that.
How about you?