A global campaign is encouraging people to share their experiences of Random Acts of Kindness.
The aim of the Unity of Faiths Foundation, or tuff.earth, is to promote and share kindness in 2021.
It’s an organisation set up to empower young people and share positivity, believing that kindness promotes empathy and compassion.
In turn, this leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. The campaign aims to harness the power of the happiness and contentment this can bring.
Why then, are acts of kindness so underappreciated? Why does the news not sensationalise them? ask co-founders Dr Shamender Talwar and Anna Bornholt Prior.
A digital “badge of kindness”
tuff.earth has promised that, wherever and whenever they see an act of kindness being posted on social media, they will send across a personalised digital “badge of kindness” to that individual.
This works to make the recipient happier and make kindness even more contagious.
The campaign, which counts Pope Francis among its patrons, has already sent badges out to multiple kindness advocates. These have included young Amarjit Singh Atwal, who has been delivering food to those most affected by the pandemic in Northampton.
Acts like these are inspirational and promote others to show the same dedication, selflessness and kindness.
Dr Talwar and Anna say that hope is what’s needed.
“These past 12 months have been under the cloud of Covid-19. But there have been silver linings, with sparks of kindness around the world – we hope to boost these into rays of kindness to find the unsung heroes of the planet.
Together let’s make a platform to showcase the best of humanity in these challenging times. We are not asking people to share their money; we are asking them to share their kindness.”
tuff.earth are confident there will be more cases of kindness than cases of COVID-19 by the end of 2021.
So Let’s Get Started! 8 Kind Things To Do Today
Jaime Thurston is founder and CEO of 52 Lives, the charity that uses kindness to change people’s lives every week. She has seen a significant increase in donations following the lockdowns, enabling the charity to help more people across the country.
The charity, in partnership with Gala Bingo, has managed to increase its support of vital causes. Among other things it has helped out care homes and run free virtual kindness workshops for young children.
Jaime lists eight kind things you can do right now to help others:
Tell a key worker they are doing a good job
If you do get out and see a supermarket worker, healthcare staff, or any other keyworkers, tell them they are doing a good job.
These are essential people who are putting themselves at potential harm to keep the country going – the ultimate display of kindness. It could make their day to tell them how grateful you are.
Call an elderly relative or friend
One of the key things we are doing right now is working with those struggling alone in self isolation, which is more often than not the elderly. We’ve sent care packages to hundreds of elderly people from across the UK in order to put a smile on their faces.
If you have someone in your life who is struggling alone, give them a quick call or text to let them know you are thinking of them.
Do a chore you wouldn’t normally do for your partner or housemate
Doing something you might not usually do for your housemate like hanging up their washing if they’re busy or cooking something special for your partner is a lovely thing to do and one that only costs your time.
Give to a cause
Not everyone has enough to share, but if you do, a great way to help others is to donate to a worthy cause. And whilst donations to the NHS are fantastic, it’s important to remember some of the smaller charities, which may be really struggling at this time.
You could also give your time to a charity, supporting a good cause through volunteering can be just as valuable as a monetary donation.
We are all at home a lot more than we usually would be, and we may think we are spending more time with our families. However, with work, TV and social media, we are still busy and perhaps not fully present at home.
To become more present, take some time away from your screens and give your loved ones your full attention. Try and do activities together that don’t involve technology such as a jigsaw, baking or going for a walk.
Focus on still having quality time together, even though you may be spending more hours in each other’s company.
Let others be kind to you
By being kind to others you will attract kindness in return. Accept the kindness of your loved ones, whether that is by picking up the phone to them or taking them up on their offer of getting you essentials from the shops. They will feel good that they have helped you in some way and exchanging kind acts will develop and maintain a deeper connection with that person.
Smile (or wave!) at people
Not only is smiling good for our health as it relieves stress and makes us feel good but it’s also contagious. Smiling at someone is likely to initiate a smile back and will make both you feel happy.
Smiling and waving also makes you look more approachable, and could initiate a much-needed conversation for someone while outdoors. A short chat, from a social distance, with someone you pass in a park or on a walk, could make a huge difference to a person’s day.
Keep your distance!
One of the kindest things people can continue to do is keep their distance from each other. Whilst it isn’t easy not being able to see family and friends like we used to, it’s important to remember that everyone’s health should be the number one priority.
“More kindness emerging than ever before”
The 52 Lives charity has seen both donations and supporter numbers grow significantly during the pandemic as the UK comes together to help each other navigate the current crisis.
The organisation has increased its support of a variety of vital causes, particularly care homes for the elderly and those struggling with self-isolation. Here are some of the causes it has helped.
Jaime Thurston, founder and CEO of 52 Lives, said, “We were expecting donations to drop during this period as we know it is a challenging time for everyone. But, so far, we’ve actually seen the opposite. Our supporter numbers have grown, more people are giving every week, and more people are getting in touch to ask what they can do to help.
“We’ve seen more kindness emerging than we ever have before. People are innately kind, and in times of crisis, we come together and want to help one another.”