Daily acts of kindness

The task this week was to do something kind for someone each day.

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Mar 03, 2016
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I'm beginning to see a theme here; the hardest tasks for me are the ones requiring interaction. I guess I could play the introvert card, but the truth is I can interact with people - as long as who and when are on my terms...

We're actually at sea this week, and a cruise ship to the Arctic is arguably not a great place to find people in need of help. So I interpreted the task broadly and tried to be concious of smiling at people and chatting with whoever was on our table at meals. I stood aside to let wheelchairs cross in the narrow corridors (there are lot of wheelchair users on cruises - who knew?) - and smiled while I did it. I even knelt in the snow to photograph a fellow passenger on a shore excursion, which I think gets major brownie points as I had to take my gloves off to do it - imagine for a moment removing your gloves in the Arctic... Basically, I set myself the goal of ensuring people came away from encounters with me feeling positive.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a monster with the social skills of a medieval jailor, just a busy, focused person... Who sometimes forgets to come out of work mode... As I rush through my days I tend to do things as efficiently as possible, and that doesn't generally include superfluous interaction (although my height seems to make me popular at supermarkets if I ever pause!).

At the end of the week, I can say this was a good challenge. And one I'll try again. I enjoyed having random positive encounters in my days and connecting with people, even if only briefly. I liked the way it made me feel about myself, like I was more connected and just generally nicer. It made me remember the girl I used to be. I'm kind of looking forward to the next little old lady who asks me to get something for her from the top shelf...

Go to the profile of Vanessa

Vanessa

cat lover, wife, designer, analyst (the spreadsheet kind...), friend, sister, daughter, writer, consultant, lover of beauty...

3 Comments

Go to the profile of Mark Cuddy
Mark Cuddy almost 2 years ago

Ha, ha, ha - I love the last line because yesterday I was in a supermarket and a little old lady asked me to reach to the top shelf for her. I felt great doing this small act. What would she have made for her tea without the sweet potatoes I grabbed for her? God bless her! The small things we do for others are big things for them and can give us great rewards too. Take it easy. Mark.

Go to the profile of Vanessa
Vanessa almost 2 years ago

So true :-) and thanks for the big smile your comment created!

Go to the profile of Vicki
Vicki almost 2 years ago

Hey Vanessa,
I really liked the bit where you said 'ensuring people came away from encounters with me feeling positive' I think that's a great way to look at your interactions with people. Sometimes circumstances will require otherwise but for the remainder that will be my aim.

I think I also need to work on my 'superfluous interaction' a bit. It made me laugh as sometimes I come away from conversations, encounters etc and think, why didn't I say /do that.