LIVES IN BETWEEN

The somewhat different intercultural communication blog

What can YOU do to make this world a better place? Weekly Act of Kindness #1

So much for keeping New Year’s resolutions. It’s been far too long since my last post, but what can I say… life has gotten in the way.

However, I have not been idle. I have been collecting content and inspirations for a new feature I’d like to introduce on my blog: the Weekly Act of Kindness.

Bad news are all around at the moment. The world we live in seems to become increasingly inward-looking, nationalist, self-centred, doubtful of strangers. World leaders (including democratically elected ones!) are erecting walls to stop “illicit migration flows”, in other words, keeping out people in need, in search for safety or simply a better life. But the fact that they come from different cultural backgrounds automatically makes them suspicious. All of this deeply bothers me, makes me sad, even a bit scared for the future sometimes.

But instead of being gloomy and lamenting the state of the world which seems to be in decline of solidarity and a basic sense of humanity, I thought I’d do something more uplifting and inspiring – because there are also good things out there. Our eyes and mind just need to practice recognizing them. Somebody once said, kindness is like a muscle, the more we exercise it the better we are at it.

So, what is the Weekly Act of Kindness? Each week I’ll present an idea, an initiative or a project – however big or small – which contributes in its own way to making this world a better place. This may sound cheesy to some of you, but aren’t we all in need of good news, of inspiration? Perhaps some of the examples I bring will even inspire you to do something similar, to take action in the context and limits of your own life. This is my hope and motivation anyway.

So, don’t be shy to share this with friends or share your own ideas with me here on this blog. Every contribution counts, even a gesture as small and seemingly insignificant as an uplifting smile or a friendly hello to the person sitting in front of you on the bus on the way to work in the morning.

Weekly Act of Kindness #1 – “Leave a coat” racks

This picture is what actually got me thinking about the Weekly Act of Kindness idea.

Need a coat? Take one. Want to help? Leave one.

This simple yet potentially life saving initiative helps people from poorer households, homeless people, those who cannot afford a proper warm jacket get through winter. I am not sure who and where it started, but the initiative has been replicated across the US and the UK. Simple. Small. Useful. Wonderful.

Stay tuned for more inspirations. What’s yours?

7 Comments

  1. Great idea for your blog!

    I’m a big fan of random acts of kindness, pay it forward, etc.
    LOVE the LEAVE A COAT RACK! Makes me think of http://www.thebigknit.co.uk

    There is so much we can do.
    We participated in a toy drive in December.
    January, let me think… last week I rescued my Mom’s car when it was pretty much snowed in.

    • marisainbetween

      January 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm

      Yes, indeed there is a lot we can do! Thanks Tamara for sharing your small acts of kindness 🙂

  2. Wow, that´s a good idea with coats and with your project too, of course 🙂

  3. Hi Marisa!
    Thank you for writing this blog, I really like it. I try to do a daily act of kindness. I have the impression that something as easy as a smile travels from one person to the next and can thus reach a lot of people. Everyone can make a difference.
    I’m looking forward to reading more inspirations from you.

    • marisainbetween

      January 20, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Thanks, Maria, so nice to hear from you here, thanks for reading my stuff 🙂
      It is indeed a lot about being aware of ones own actions and emotions, and the extent to which they affect people around you (as the discovery of the mirror neurons also shows).

  4. Great idea! As Mr. Roger’s said, we need to look for the good and we will find it.

  5. Lovely idea. I’m a big fan of play it forward. I did a small act of kindness last week and not only did it make me feel good, I could also almost see the follow-on effect – that the person would go on to do something nice for someone else and so on… so much better than generating pettiness, hate and bad feelings.

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