Small Acts of Kindness

With so many of us fawning over the latest iPhone model & brand of designer trousers, it’s easy for us to overlook the significance of the practise of kindness & generosity which, believe it or not, don’t always have to come in the form of a two week all-inclusive holiday to the Bahamas as a gift for somebody’s birthday (although I, for one, would not refuse such a gift if the opportunity represented itself!) I am a firm believer that even the smallest, or seemingly most meaningless acts of kindness can go an extremely long way & have a seismic impact upon another person’s outlook, spirit, day or week. 

In my opinion, it all starts with the act of looking beyond a person’s initial appearance or perceived “differences”. It’s a case of accepting that everybody is the same – each of us have lots to offer, have dreams, aspirations & a story to tell. 

It’s an inescapable reality that the majority of us live in fear of each other and subsequently, hold ourselves back, refuse to communicate or establish a connection with people we come into contact with & thus restrict ourselves. 

This is something I am guilty of, truth be told. More & more recently, I am becoming aware of this:

• Keeping my distance from large groups of loud young people out of fear that I may be ridiculed or victimised in some way

• Choosing not to sit beside somebody I’m unfamiliar with. 

• Avoiding eye contact with somebody when walking down the street.

However, in maintaining the mentality that we are all human beings and performing small gestures of kindness, we are able to become less inhibited & frightened of the people around us – we are able to share a piece of ourselves with these people & potentially establish a connection with them. 

Such acts of kindness can be as simple as:

• Smiling at people you briefly make eye contact with

• Asking that uncharismatic barista you always see in Starbucks how their day has been

• Holding the door for somebody

• Taking the time to tell a loved one the extent to which you love them. 

• Starting a conversation with that person at the bus stop even if it goes no further than the first ten seconds of it.

It is precisely these small acts of kindness that can bring so much colour to a person’s day – which, for all we know, may have been a stress-induced nightmare. A simple smile may be enough to re-inspire and reinvigorate someone who typically passes through each day feeling a lack of recognition or notice. Sometimes, the one thing a people is in need of is a willing listener with an open heart and mind.

If I’m totally honest, I believe the horrific incidents that took place in Orlando to have inspired me to better myself. The incidents truly have awakened & instilled a feeling of urgency in me – to give love & kindness more freely. 

Through the daily practise of kindness, we have the ability to progress in our individual journeys as well as contribute to other people’s. As well as casting light upon a dismal day of another person and adding a potential spring to that person’s step, kindness results in feelings of elevation & an increased self-efficacy. 

On a biochemical level, the act of kindness & altruism serves to increase levels of dopamine in the brain, thus bringing about the sensations of a “natural high”. 

A ripple effect occurs due to the pursuit of kindness, in that when we carry out even a small gesture of kindness, it has the ability to evoke feelings of inspiration in that person to reflect the same kindness in their own actions. Henceforth, although a small action of kindness may be but a stone dropped in the ocean, seemingly obsolete & overlooked, just as a stone causes waves when dropped into the ocean, so does kindness. 

Now, as I draw this blog entry to a close, I would like you to reflect upon your individual efforts and willingness to give kindness on a daily basis – even to people you are a stranger to. 

Do you find yourself holding back from trying to establish a connection with people you come in contact with? Do you avoid making conversation or simply making eye contact with those you pass by on their street or those you work alongside, day in, day out. What about the opportunities you’ve passed up on to ask a sales clerk how their day has been or simply offering a smile to somebody? 

Through a collective contribution & effort in the distribution of kindness, we can cause the world in which we live in to be a kinder, more tolerant, more tranquil, pleasant & connected environment to exist in. 


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39 thoughts on “Small Acts of Kindness

  1. kingoftragedy

    I love this, and you’ve put it across so well. I always try to do these things, but I do wonder sometimes if I’m doing them to make myself feel better as opposed to making someone else feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ohitsonlysteven Post author

      That’s a very good point! I think the main thing is that you’re actually trying when many others barely consider their behaviours. The great thing about kindness is that it benefits both the person providing and receiving! 🙂

      Thanks very much for the kind words! Means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Aishwarya

    Kindness – Such an important thing to pass on to, especially in this day and age where we see terrible shameful acts around us!
    I like how you’ve chosen to write on kindness by subtly touching on what happened in Orlando while most people have been writing about how badly out affected them and how horrible the incident was (of course those are important emotions and all of us sane people who heard about it felt the same; but we also need to focus on what we can learn about humanity through such a terrible incident and what we must do to prevent such strange hatred in future)!
    Cheers and have a lovely day!

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. thegirlthatdreamsawake

    I do avoid contact with people i dont know…. a bit small minded no? … I do smile to everyone.. but is it enough? probably not.. i have to reblog this post.. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ohitsonlysteven Post author

      I think it’s fear more than small-mindedness! But it is something we somewhat have control over 😊 God knows I still have lots to learn with things like this but I’m always trying!

      Thanks so much for your nice comments! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. thejuicenut

    Well written and very welcome. I wrote similarly after Paris and adapted it for after Orlando. Hopefully, as you say, one by one we will cause a ripple effect. Kindness and compassion are human attributes that have been sadly lacking of late, but maybe, just maybe, we can turn this around…

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Carolyn Page

    What a wonderful world this would be…..
    You are wonderful, Steven. Your light brightens my heart. You give me strength to know that there are souls such as you. My chest fills with love… all those wonderful chemicals you spoke about. How true… altruism can lead to physical health… 😉
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ohitsonlysteven Post author

      I’m so grateful for your words of love & encouragement! It means so much that you spare the time to read my posts, connecting & contributing in the way that you do!

      Thank you so much, Carolyn! Have a fantastic Sunday! x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  6. weird weekends

    Great reminder for all of us… You mentioned something I never thought of as an act of kindness… “Starting a small conversation…”. now after some reflection I realize it really could be… especially to a lonely person. I wonder how many other small things I could do to be kind that I overlook or don’t think to do… I love that you made me (and others) think about this. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ohitsonlysteven Post author

      Exactly right! It can be so simple – I think, a lot of us (me included sometimes) think that we have to do something big to really make a difference but the truth is, it can be something tiny!

      I’m so glad that you’ve identified so much with my post & that it’s helped you to reflect! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  7. Sayl

    Very controversial topic, but everyone almost everyone agrees. Very broad but it was needed to be addressed. Show small acts of kindness may of been taught in kindergarten but we needed this to be addressed because we often pull back from that opportunity to make someone’s day. Seriously. We were made to love each other instead of to ignore each other. Great post! Needed it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ohitsonlysteven Post author

      Very well said! So many of us (myself included sometimes) fall under the impression that we have to do something massive to truly make a difference but in actual fact, sometimes the smallest action can do so much!

      I’m really happy you’ve identified so much with this post – thanks so much for stopping by to read it! 🙂

      Sending lots and positivity!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. Lady G

    This is so true my dear! I so admire your honesty here and I encourage you to continue ‘opening your wings.’
    I hope that you’ll come back by my ‘place’!
    There you will find a home away from home 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. the jay train

    I think this is great. It’s a simple yet big thing that each and every one of us can actually do. And I totally agree that kindness sometimes especially from a stranger can really make a difference in someone’s day.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. ohitsonlysteven Post author

      So, so true!! It seems so little and meaningless but the impact can be monumental 🙂 thanks so much for taking the time to have a read of this & for connecting in the way you have! Means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  10. mindsetrevolution83

    So well-written! Yes, I’ve only recently recognized the importance of small, authentic acts of kindness. I’m trying to work my way up to one a day. I volunteered at a fair once and this lady said to me ‘you are the only volunteer here who is happy, energetic, and really engaging with the kids.’ That small moment that she took made me so happy because it was authentic. I think these acts change not only the recipient’s day, but ours, too. That’s what I didn’t realize..

    Liked by 1 person

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  11. Emily

    Well written, Steven. I am one who believes in connecting and take time to ask strangers, or people in service positions, or anyone who crosses my path how they are. I tend to end up in fascinating conversations and learn we may have connections were weren’t aware of. I have many many stories about times I’ve been rewarded just by merely taking the time to connect, engage and listen. It’s crucial to thriving as a human on this planet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Lisa Pomerantz

    Steven, thank you for sending me to your beautifully eloquent post. We do all have to pay it forward and spread the love. Our world is lacking in love and empathy. It starts with each of us. Nicely done! 💓

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  13. Journey of Roo

    Very thoughtful and inspiring. Your words are kind and powerful enough to compel one to think about the questions you made here and evoke the feelings of kindness in them. That was truly needed. Thanks a lot for sharing those words with the world.

    You might really like the other posts from the author Unueco Partio at https://unuecopartio.wordpress.com/ . You know your precious thoughts always count. So feel free to share your thoughts on there too.https://unuecopartio.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/biological-sex-and-discrimination-in-north-carolina/

    Liked by 1 person

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  14. Brenda

    I love the way you write. Your posts are always so well written. In this post, as in a previous post, you echo my own thoughts. I’ve always believed in the importance of kindness. I practice the small acts of kindness that you mention every chance I get. I do my best to treat others as I want to be treated. I figure it’s the least I can do. An awesome post!

    Like

    Reply
  15. forgivingjournal

    This is beautiful! Steven, thank you!!! I agree that the smallest acts of kindness can have tremendous resonance in each of our lives, they certainly do for me. Thank you for this honest and vulnerable post, and for sharing you. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  16. Miriam

    This is such a beautiful post and I agree with everything, the smallest act of kindness can make the biggest impact. Hope you’re having a lovely week.

    Like

    Reply
  17. lokumasshi

    I read your post and like it very much. But for me, I felt embarrassed. I was on the train and the woman next to me leaned too far in my direction and I hated it and wanted to go away in a separate dimension. Maybe I should have said a nice comment that “I like your arm on my side of the seat” but for me it is too difficult.

    Anyway I will try harder. Thank you Steven!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  18. novalis848

    Hi Steven, I recall reading somewhere (perhaps the Dalai Lama) that people who perform benevolent actions or watch films depicting altruistic behaviour (It’s A Wonderful Life) show altered biochemistry giving them an improved immune system.
    Anyway, keep blogging – your posts are warm and intelligent and everyone enjoys reading them.

    Like

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