In a world where so many of us feel sad right now, or angry, or helpless, or let down, how can we feel better? How can we move on in a way that doesn't seem disrespectful? How can we be lighthearted again when everything feels so damn serious? How can we change the tune?
I think I have the answer, sort of. It might sound trite, it might sound small when everything feels really big, but the answer is Kindness. Here's the thing- kindness makes the world a better place. It makes you feel good, it makes someone else feel good. It gives us all hope that the world might actually be full of good people and that there's a chance for the human race to come together.
Kindness doesn't cost a lot, but it can lead to a moment of light on a dark day, for a friend, for a stranger, for you. So I've put together a list of 50 little things we could all do that have the potential to change today and reframe tomorrow.
This blog is full of rants and anger and moaning, but I don't know how much good it is doing anymore for me to pile my own frustration on top of the collective mass of upset. Weight upon weightiness. So here's something different.
1. Buy someone a balloon. A BALLOON. Maybe one of those big smiley face ones. Full of helium obviously.
2. Do the first tea/ coffee round in work today
3. Take an old friend for a pint
4. Leave a note on a colleague's desk to tell them they are ace
5. Walk a neighbour's dogs for them
6. Call a relative you know you've been meaning to call
7. Text back
8. Like a friend's Instagram photo that doesn't have many likes, and comment on why you like it
9. Get groceries for an elderly relative or neighbour
10. Do the washing up, even if it isn't your turn
11. Make the bed, even if you're running late
12. Make your gf/bf/roomie/dog/cat/mother breakfast
13. Pop in to see your grandparents
14. Buy a couple of lottery scratchers and mail them to people
15. Write some positive, inspirational messages on pieces of paper and tape them to trees, so people will see them when they're strolling around and smile
16. Leave exact change at the laundromat on top of a machine
17. Pay for the person who gets on the bus behind you
18. Email your best friend a hilarious and forgotten picture of you together
19. Email an old friend you've not seen in a while a hilarious and forgotten picture of you together
20. Write a thank you letter and mean it, whether its to a parent, an old teacher, someone you never really thanked enough
21. Pick some flowers and give them to someone you pass by in the street
22. Smile. At everyone. All day. Even on the tube. Even if you look bonkers.
23. Tell a stranger you like their hat/ coat/ shoes/ face
24. Send cat pictures to your friend who loves cat pictures (we all have one)
25. Lay tribute at your local memorial to the victims of Orlando. Sit a minute.
26. Read an extra couple of pages of their bedtime story
27. Pay for the next person in line's coffee
28. Make dinner tonight, even if you don't like cooking
30. Send someone a song that reminds you of them, just because
31. Send a birthday message to everyone who Facebook tells you is celebrating their special day today. Mean it.
33. Hold the door open
34. Let that person go ahead of you in line, it doesn't matter
35. Make double lunch today, and share with someone you've not really spoken to
36. Sponsor that person for the charity thing that you keep 'forgetting' to sponsor
37. Put a quid in a jar every time you complain for a week. At the end of that week, give that money to charity.
38. Bake someone a cake
39. Take a football to the park this weekend. Invite anyone who walks by to have a kick about
40. If you're the boss, let your team go early today. It's Friday, go on
41. Smile at the guy who just took your parking spot
43. Hug your dad
44. Donate clothes
45. Go to the gay club with your friend who has just come out and is now more nervous than ever to join the party
46. Stop to give directions
47. Hug your mum
48. Carry someone's luggage/ bike/ pram down the stairs to the tube at rush hour, even if it means missing the train
49. Stop for a chugger. Hear them out. Have a proper conversation
50. Offer to babysit for your new parent friends, let 'em go HAM for a night.