Random acts of London kindness

One of the hardest HPL rules is to GIVE. As well as having little free time or money to devote to charitable purposes, daily stresses mean I sometimes don’t feel particularly warmly towards my fellow man (especially when squashed under his sweaty armpit on the Northern Line).

However, the effects on us of being kind are HUGE – scientists say you feel satisfied, exhilorated, a sense of euphoria. You feel a connection with others (another of the HPL rules) and a sense of wellbeing, calm and relaxation. 

Selfish though it may be, being kind to others makes you feel better, simples. So today I’ve mostly been inspired (again) by We Are What We Do and tried to remind myself to do the below, even when I’m grumpy or stressed:  

  • Smile at people on the tube.  But not manically. And don’t get annoyed with others’ irritating tube behaviour (coughing, sneezing, standing on toes, not moving down, holding paper in awkward way, picking nose, jamming rucksack in face, snogging, listening to terrible R&B very loudly, etc etc)
  • Have more empathy with others. They are probably having a rough day too.  Try to listen.  
  • Compliment 2 people every day. Best not combine with smiling at strangers on the tube, this is likely to make them feel uncomfortable.
  • Bake or make something for a friend (easy ones = make a birthday card from photos, give them a cutting of your house plant, bake a cake).
  • Call rather than email (even better, meet for a coffee).
  • Always smile and say hello or similar to people behind counters selling me things. 
  • And finally: give someone the empty tube seat/help that person with the heavy case/let that car push in/tell the barman they were there first/buy the first round.

UPDATE: Thank you to the lovely Irish girl on the tube who tapped me on the shoulder to point out that the tag was still hanging off my lovely new dress.  With 50% off written on it!  Some SERIOUSLY good karma coming your way!

4 responses to “Random acts of London kindness

  1. Kirsty Wadsley

    Thank you for reminding me how important this is. I stopped to ask a young homeless man if he wanted a drink a while ago, he nodded as if I’d offered him the world. I went and bought him a cup of tea and chocolate bar and in the process got talking to the owner of the shop who’d just started his business a week ago, he enthusiastically started telling me about his plans and he gave me a free scoop of ice-cream. I think I benefited more from the experience than the guy I bought the drink for. In the grand scheme of things a couple of pounds and 10 mins out of my day was well worth it, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t repeated it nearly enough times since!

  2. Like the idea behind your site…give love, you receive love (well mostly!) well done

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