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Thoughts on kindness


The intention of our RAOK round-ups was to help make us and our readers more mindful about the impact we can have on those around us.

It has been a good discipline for us to write the acts down and see what we have actually been able to do in some small ways, but at the same time also a little uncomfortable to publicly list them as if trophies or displays of pride.

So while we will continue to actively bring kindness to the lives of others we won't routinely be posting about them.


What we've learned this year is:

  • The cost of the RAOK is not necessary directly proportionate to the impact
  • It's focusing on the person (& empathy) that leads to the best and most effective RAOKs
  • Mass pre-meditated RAOKs can be exciting but draining - you need to pace and be kind to yourself too
  • Many people will automatically say 'no' to anything you are giving away - it's sadly our social conditioning that there's no such thing as 'free' without strings attached
  • Being kind to someone can really turn their life around (and you may not even know it unless they tell you directly!)
  • Extending something you already do to include others is an effective way to include RAOKs in your life ie a meal and hospitality to one or two extras at your own table
  • Kindness starts at home - show as much kindness to those under your roof as you do to 'strangers'
  • Being able to free oneself from possessions and tight timetables puts you in such a better place to be able to see and meet others needs


Our last RAOK for the year, is the same as the one that started this very project - giving away candy canes to perfect strangers in the street but hopefully after this year of seeing people at the Welcome Wednesday Cafe and the Night Markets we will know more of those we would otherwise just pass by in public.