March is almost over and I’ve left you with no posts! How cruel of me!
It’s not that nothing has been happening, March has been crazy thanks to the UWI. You can also thank the UWI and Dr. Tia Cooper for this blog post. ^_^
“What’s in it for me?”
Have you ever found yourself asking this question when approached to help out someone else? In many ways, we live in an individualistic society in which often times we tend to put ourselves first. Our emotions and our desires are often more important to us than those of our peers and even our family. Often, we forget what the power of a simple smile or a “good morning” can do to make someone else happy. As a result, over a three week period in an effort to promote a “We Smile, You Smile” campaign, our group set out to put smiles on the faces of our peers as well as others in society for our Acts of Random Kindness Project.
When last were you courteous or exuded politeness to your peers? Surely some of you may have to take a walk down the dark abyss of time to find that answer. Showing politeness was our first initiative. In week one our group carried out some of the most basic social graces some of which included holding the door open for others, allowing persons to skip us in the line, and yes that may have taken a lot out of us, we remembered however that our objective was always to place others first. We also made inexhaustible use of those courtesies that we embedded in us from an early age. We never got tired of saying “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “have a nice day”, never forgetting to carry with us our greatest accessory – our smile.
Our quest to make others happy did not end there. In week two we embarked on yet another journey of selflessness – showering our peers with compliments. Not only did we compliment them on their sense of style on a particular day but we also made known to them that their friendship, there mere existence was significant to us. One of the shortcomings of an individualistic society is taking for granted the people who are closest to us or with whom we interact on almost a daily basis. By acknowledging someone’s importance in your life you motivate them to be the best that they can be by creating positive energy in your relationship with them.
When you thought you couldn’t bear with our overwhelming kindness any longer, we came out in full force on the third week and targeted the taste buds of our colleagues with our final initiative – free doughnuts and motivational cards. Being a university student has its pros and cons. On one hand, meeting new people and learning new things can be a fun and fulfilling experience but the late nights spent studying, the workload and stress of assignments with impending due dates can take a lot out of the experience. The cards were mainly a medium of positive reinforcement for the receivers who sometimes may feel like they have hit rock bottom. As for the doughnuts, those speak for themselves. Who doesn’t like free doughnuts?
The Acts of Kindness initiative has not only benefited those on the receiving end. During the three weeks of the project, our group strengthened not only collectively, but also individually. The priceless satisfaction of being able to render joy in someone else’s life has proven to be therapeutic. In a society where the focus is on what can be gained rather than on what can be given it was a healthy change to do something just because.
Those who make compassion an essential part of their lives find the joy of life. Kindness deepens the spirit and produces rewards that cannot be completely explained in words. It is an experience more powerful than words. To become acquainted with kindness one must be prepared to learn new things and feel new feelings. Kindness is more than a philosophy of the mind. It is a philosophy of the spirit.
– Robert J. Furey