February 17 is Random Acts of Kindnesss (RAK) Day – a day when we can all take just a little time to do something for someone else. It can be as simple as a smile and a ‘thank you’ to the person that serves your tea or coffee, running an errand for a neighbour, taking the time to sit and talk with an elderly family member, neighbour or friend, buying a surprise gift for someone you wouldn’t normally …the list is almost endless.
The American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that ‘the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. It is not the length of life, but the depth.’
So, by being useful to someone, you are being kind to them and, by being kind to them, you are also being kind to yourself. Try it and see. Bringing a smile to someone’s face will make them feel better and have a marked effect on your own sense of self-worth and wellbeing.
In a residential care setting, the opportunities are almost endless. By the very nature of their work, our staff carry out dozens of acts of random kindness every day. Without such an approach, they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs, but some will be going that extra step to on RAK Day to make it a bit more special for a resident or a colleague.
Conversely, our residents are deeply appreciative of the help and service they receive from our team but we are sure an additional thank you, note or small gesture will not go unnoticed. It will make someone’s day that extra bit special.
Relatives and friends too might like to take a moment to think what they could do – a bunch of flowers, an extra five minutes at visiting time, a cheery hello or a quick socially distanced chat with a resident who doesn’t have a visitor, a child’s drawing or a photo of a much loved pet to help decorate a room….
Any gesture of kindness will be magnified given the reduced opportunities we have had to interact with one another during this long, Covid epidemic.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain