Anne Herbert wrote the phrase, ‘Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty,’ while doodling on a placemat. The slogan went viral long before the Internet was so readily accessible and online pokies had become a player favourite, and in 1998 a coalition of NGOs from various countries introduced World Kindness Day.
Celebrated annually on the 13th of November in various countries around the world, World Kindness Day has gathered momentum in recent years, and the Internet and social media has had a lot to do with that. What’s even better is that social media also makes it possible for people for practice random kind acts on other days as well, and to share their stories and spread goodwill.
Take a look at some of the most heart-warming random acts of kindness that have occurred globally, and that may even inspire you to do your own!
Janine Whitehead from Auckland, New Zealand, won the grand prize in the Hits Live Free Thanks to OneRoof. The competition offered one lucky contestant the chance to have their mortgage or rent paid for one year.
Instead of claiming the prize for herself, she chose to act in kindness. Her colleague Robin’s son had been diagnosed with leukaemia shortly after Christmas, and his wife had to quit her job to take care of him. Janine decided that the best thing to do would be to pay the family’s $610 weekly rent for the year.
While setting up for an announcement that was to be made from a gazebo in Carmichael Park in New Glasgow, Canada, town employee Doug Miller made a delightful discovery. A clear plastic bag containing a $100 bill and a handwritten note had been taped to the gazebo.
According to the note, whoever had left it the bag there wanted the person who found it to consider it a sign that goodness and joy were still to be found in the world.
The overnight appearance of parking restriction signs does not usually put a smile on people’s faces. However, the notice that appeared on a lamppost in Wiesbaden, Germany, was a little out of the ordinary.
The four-year-old son of Christie Dietz, a food and travel writer, had parked his bicycle at the same lamppost almost every day for a year now has his own reserved spot. A stranger took a photo of it, and had it printed as a sticker advising that the space was reserved exclusively the little boy’s balance bike.
In April, Matt Barnfield of London, UK, tweeted that his autistic son Jack had lost the teddy bear that he thought of as his best friend. Matt received scores of messages that offered help.
Someone sent him a teddy that was identical to the one Jack lost, although it was a tiny bit fluffier. An artist drew a picture of Jack’s bear, and a teddy bear maker offered to make a new bear for the boy. Some people even offered to send their own cherished teddies. In the end, the similar but fluffier bear became Jack’s new friend.
A cup of coffee can go a long way. That is something 19-year-old Mackenzie Mauller discovered when she paid for a stranger’s coffee in Kent, USA.
Mauller was at a drive-through window when she told the cashier that she wanted to buy a coffee for the person behind her. A few days later, the student received a card from Nicole Clawson. It turned out they lived in the same street, and that the coffee had made a world of difference to Nicole’s day. Her father had passed away recently, her babysitter could not work for her that day, and so she was forced to take a days’ leave. Mackenzie replied to the note, and even offered to help look after Nicole’s children.
When Esmonde Teo of Singapore realised he had left his wallet at home in his haste to collect his heavily pregnant wife’s dinner, he took a chance and appealed to his cab driver’s kindness. He explained his situation, and then went as far as asking driver A. Jayaraja for a loan so he could pay for the food.
Jayaraja told interviewers that he was prepared to forfeit the $5 he loaned to Esmonde, as well as the fare, if the man did not return. Esmonde left his phone with the driver, bought dinner, and returned to the cab. He paid the fare and repaid the loan when they returned to the apartment.
Namibia’s farmers are in the grip of a drought that has lasted as long as nine years in some parts of the Southwest African country. More can be done to assist them, thanks to employees of FirstRand Namibia. As part of the financial services provider’s 111 Random Acts of Kindness initiative they gave each employee N$111 to benefit their chosen worthy cause. Many chose the Namibia Farmers Drought Assistance Programme, which received an unexpected donation of more than N$45,800. The money will be used to buy animal fodder and offer some much needed relief to both the farmers and livestock.