So guys what did you give up for lent? Chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol, meat? I was completely unsure what to give up, but knew one thing -I wanted to do something productive, actively showing love, yet challenging and unique. That’s when I stumbled across 40acts campaign in my google search (google you are a babe!) This campaign is a Christian based charity encouraging and challenging people to one Random Act of Kindness a day, over the period of lent (which can be extended obviously!).
Lent is a great way for people to better themselves and practice self control for forty days regarding a particular thing they may feel is impacting their life. I loved how 40Acts flips lent around and asks you to do things for other people, which surprisingly did more for me than those I showed kindness to. I became more self aware about how my words and attitudes could affect people and the importance of how a simple smile can change everything. I was more aware of the importance of being nonjudgemental towards individuals who had completely different lives to mine -I began to notice people; their smiles, their eyes and their candid features, whereas before I was always so focused on getting from A to B. It’s so hard in London to not get conditioned to always be trying to get to the next event or running for the bus or tube, instead of taking time to actually SEE people.
I began to be more consciousabout opportunities to show kindness to people regardless of if I had already completed my one random act of kindness that day. It not only resulted in me being a happier, loving and more passionate person, it equipped me with greater confidence -pushing me to go outside of my boundaries and comfort zone and go up to others and help them (especially when this was done on my own!). It was a battle to overcome my fear of rejection and the voice in my head saying ‘What would other people think?’.
I didn’t tell many people about my lent commitment as I wanted to avoid people questioning my intentions of my generoristy and kindness; instead wanting to just love people and see what happened. Over the period of lent I tried to complete at least one act of kindness a day (although this wasn’t always achieved -I’m only human after all!). I’m going to definitely carry on with this during the next few months. If you are keen to partake in being kind to others, below is a small list of things I did during lent and it may give you a few ideas;
- Helping a stranger who was being ignored by others as she struggled to find the correct location of an eye appointment
- Placing money in a homeless women hand whilst she slept
- Bringing in cake for my work colleagues
- Relaying a compliment you heard about a person to them
- Sending a few of the girls an encouraging quote reinforcing girl power
- Reading and editing a friends assignment
- Swapping a shift with a co-worker
- Buying a friend a gift
- Smiling at people
- Phoned someone who I thought would benefit from a chat
- Spent time investing in several people; 2 hour conversations, coffee and food dates
- Volunteering to work on my day off
- Complimenting people (***genuine compliment***)
- Letting others go before me in the queue
For more information on 40Acts please visit >> https://40acts.org.uk/
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