It’s good to be kind

It’s good to be kind
  • Written by
  • Harri Sharman

Random Acts of Kindness Day

By the time you’re reading this, 2022’s Random Acts of Kindness Day will already be over. But don’t worry – it’s never too late to let a little kindness into your life.

New Zealand is the only country in the world to have a Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day. When it started back in 2005, the day September 1st was chosen as it was easy to remember, being the start of spring. What better time is there to help share a bit of extra light around the community?

While the day itself may have passed, any day is a good day to start being kinder to those around you. Kindness can help reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, and our own happiness. Helping others feel good creates a sense of belonging and reduces isolation – something we all need after the last few years.

What’s RAK Day all about?

The day was started after one of the co-founders, Josh de Jong, was stuck in Auckland traffic watching some angry drivers ahead of him get into a quarrel. He began to wonder what things could be like if on one day, every person in Aotearoa was kind to each other instead. Enlisting the help of his friends Megan Singleton, Marshall Gray and Rueben Gwyn, they set out to contact every politician, school, media outlet, church, and business they could to spread the word.

The idea was simple: encourage people to do a random act of kindness all on the same day, to lift the “kindness temperature” in our country. Since then, the day has grown as people embrace the idea of paying it forward.

What is a Random Act of Kindness?

A random act of kindness (or RAK) is all about surprising someone with something kind. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, just think about something that will bring a smile to a person’s face.

Some inspiration for a RAK might include: 

  • Buy an extra coffee in a café, and offer it to the person after you
  • Buy the waitstaff in the café a coffee or a snack as well to show your appreciation
  • Bake some cupcakes and take them to your neighbours
  • Pay for someone’s groceries
  • Pick up litter in your neighbourhood
  • Call an old friend you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Pick flowers from the garden and bring them to school or work
  • Smile at a stranger! It’s free, and guaranteed to brighten someone’s day

Visit www.rak.co.nz for more ideas on how to get involved.

New Zealand Random Acts of Kindness Day, September 1st

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