Random Acts of Kindness #3 – The Slow Home Experiment

Random Acts of Kindness #3 - The Slow Home Experiment

Last week, as part of our current Slow Home Experiment of conducting random acts of kindness every day, I asked the barista at my favourite coffee shop if I could also pay for the coffee of the next person who came in and ordered. Honestly, I thought this might be met with confusion or derision (“Really? Why do you want to do that?”) but instead saw only something a lot like happiness, maybe even gratitude. She got a little teary-eyed and told me it was a really kind and generous thing to do, and then she thanked me.

Turns out the impact a random act of kindness can have stretches further than only the receiver, and even beyond the giver, and can impact people who witness it too. And in that way is really an incredible thing to be putting out in to the world on a regular basis.

This week Ben and I talk about the good parts of our experiment, as well as some of the things we’ve been struggling with personally, and I share a particularly funny internal reaction to my buying coffee for a stranger.

We also walk through some of the kind things we’ve done for others this week, and I would like to put it on record that Ben’s act of kindness to me over the weekend made the world of difference. It was super thoughtful, and while only a small thing, had such an impact. Plus, who doesn’t love it when we realise someone has been thinking about us?

I’ll be posting some ideas for kindness acts over on Facebook this week but here are a few we’ve done this week:

  • Something fun and imagination-inducing for the kids
  • Ben did the ironing for me while I was away
  • Tried to buy coffee for a friend but she wouldn’t let me. In fact she ended up buying mine instead. I had to let go of the “But I want to do you a kindness!” and accepted her offer of kindness.
  • Spoke to someone who looked lost and overwhelmed at a conference I attended
  • Complemented someone who had her baby at the conference about how well she was doing.
  • Sent a really heartfelt email to someone I admire a lot, simply saying thank you.
  • Reacted with compassion and kindness when someone was nervous to tell me bad news
  • Bought coffee for the next person in line at the coffee shop.
  • Yoga teacher asked for good vibes for her partner who’d been in hospital. After class I asked her if he was OK, listened, then asked her if she was OK.

None of these is big, and most don’t cost anything other than our time and attention, but the benefits are much more wide-reaching than I’d expected.

Tell me, are you joining in on this month’s experiment? How are you finding it?

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