A simple, easy way to change lives

Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds ANL-151025-114649001
Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds ANL-151025-114649001
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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the stories of bombings, refugees and famine? I do.

The worst part for me is feeling completely unable to help. But recently I have been trying to look at the ‘big picture’ a little less, and focus on the community around me. I’ve been concentrating on how I can help them. While researching this, I came across the concept of Random Acts of Kindness.

Random Acts of Kindness are exactly what it says on the tin, as well as being anonymous.

The idea is that you perform a small act of kindness to make someone’s day better, without expecting anything in return. No matter how small the acts seem to be, they will always have a massive impact. Think about how the seemingly insignificant gestures always have the biggest influence on your mood. Your gesture could turn someone’s day around.

So how can you get involved? You don’t have to go completely out of your way or spend a lot of money. Just think how you could incorporate a Random Act of Kindness into your daily routine. How about taking a plastic bag with you when you walk the dog in the morning to pick up any litter you see on the way? Or when you are getting dressed, pick out a shirt or a jumper that you do not wear anymore that you can take to a charity shop. It is almost too easy. Have you noticed the foodbank bins in the supermarket? How hard is it to put a couple cans of soup and a packet of pasta in your trolley that you could place in the bin on the way out? When you put your mind to it, there are countless possibilities for potentially making someone’s life better.

To me, these acts of kindness are so incredibly important, especially in our busy modern society. It is so easy to be consumed by the overbearing problems of the world that we forget about how we are acting towards the people around us. In my opinion, the only way the world is going to become a better place is if we start at the roots. We need to start with making ourselves better people and it is definitely not as hard as it seems. The opportunity to make someone’s day, week, year or even life better is at our fingertips. There are over 40,000 people living in Bury St Edmunds. Even if only a quarter of them were to go out of their way to perform a Random Act of Kindness, that would be 10,000 smiles and 10,000 days being made.

Will you be the one to cause a smile? I hope that my words have inspired you to impact someone’s life positively today and convince you that it is really not very hard. If I have, you can start now. Pick up your phone and message someone special to tell them you love them. It is so simple – but you could turn an awful day into something better. What’s stopping you?

-- Caitlin Brinkley is a student at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds