It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day. Gemma shares five simple ways to lift other people’s spirits.
Recently I was sent a heartwarming video that served as a wonderful reminder of the impact of small gestures. It was sent to me by the family of an elderly Feilding woman named Nola, who they filmed receiving a signed card sent from my husband Richie.
He’s signed countless cards and rugby balls, and posed for more photos than he could ever remember, but it’s reactions like Nola’s that show us just how much a tiny gesture can mean. Often, it’s the small things we do in life that make the biggest difference.
Over the last few years, I feel very privileged to have witnessed some of these special moments as Rich has signed autographs for kids, taken selfies with 90-year-olds and genuinely made people smile. But we must remember it’s not just All Blacks or people with high profiles who have the power to make a difference to someone’s day – we can all do it.
Small acts of kindness can send big signals about who we are, what we care about and why we do what we do. Whether it’s returning someone’s trolley at the supermarket carpark, or just taking the time to say a friendly hello to someone in the street, the beauty of kindness is that it has a ripple effect. The more we give, the more we receive.
1. Share the love
A kind smile or a few nice words can really brighten someone’s day. As a mum, I know how much it can mean when someone gives me an encouraging nod or smile when I’m out and about, juggling life with my two littlies. Even better is when someone says, “You’re doing a great job”, or “I’ve been there before”. There’s nothing like a bit of encouragement to lift the spirits.
2. Tell someone you care
Whether it’s a handwritten note (these are the best), a text or a phone call lending some moral support, telling someone you care can make a big difference. Often we can get too caught up in the busyness of our lives, but it only takes just a few moments to let someone know you are thinking of them. These gestures say, “I see you, you matter”.
3. A helping hand
Sharing the load is one of the kindest things we can do for others. Check in regularly and offer to help friends and family, as well as those who live around you or are in your community. Run an errand, drop off a meal or lend a hand – a small act of kindness can go a long way and really connects us to each other. Kindness strengthens a sense of belonging and gives hope to those who receive it.
4. Kindness to strangers
A simple act, like letting someone go ahead of you in traffic, holding a door open or giving a compliment, can really boost someone’s day. You never know what someone else is going through and if you engage in acts of kindness, it will encourage others to pay it forward.
5. Small but powerful
Surprise someone with a small gift, stop and talk with an elderly neighbour, shout someone an unexpected coffee, leave a kind note for someone, bake a treat for another family or pay for someone else’s parking ticket. Random acts of kindness make for a happier world.