Recently I have been the recipient of a couple of random acts of kindness. I walked into my office towards the end of last week and there was a bunch of sunflowers on my computer. The other was a small gift sent to me to say thank you for something I had done which I had not considered special.
These random acts of kindness had several effects, they immediately made me better, more positive, happier and valued. A week later the flowers are still beautiful and every time I look up they remind me that someone had not only thought about me but thought I was worthy of them spending their time and their money to buy a present for me. It was the same with the other present, a small gift that was posted to me.
At school we have a Random Acts of Kindness board where children can acknowledge actions that we, as teachers, don’t always see. There is a wide variety of things noted from “I nominate Susan as she always plays with me if I’m on my own.”, “I nominate Thomas as he helped me to find my coat” to “I nominate Sam and Charlie because they explained the maths I did not understand.” The nomination forms are heart shaped pieces of paper that are freely available in the classrooms, the children can fill them in and put them up; no fuss is made. It is lovely for those whose actions are noticed to see exactly that, that the quiet acts of kindness which were quietly and willingly given are quietly but publicly acknowledged.
We know that positive reinforcement is better than negative, we all try and use specific praise and look for the best at all times but sometimes the negatives stand out more so it is lovely that random acts of kindness happen and that in a variety of ways they are noticed. Our board has been completely filled once and is on the way to being filled again, personally I hope these acts of kindness continue to happen and that people acknowledge them.
As the Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”