This month, random acts of kindness take centre stage.
We live in a world where it’s all too easy to spend our free time doom scrolling through social media, and being all too easily influenced into believing that the world is just getting worse.
Of course, we all know that media (social and otherwise) thrives on bad news: it’s what sells, right? But there’s more to living on this planet than just dwelling on the constant stream of negativity we seem to be bombarded with every day. And if we look a little deeper, we discover that the vast majority of people, anywhere in the world, are no different to us – they share our common desire to live lives that are happy, fulfilled, and considerate of others.
THE SECRET OF TRUE HAPPINESS
Psychologists and other mental health researchers consistently point out something that should be fairly obvious, and it’s this: when we feel discontented, depressed, or even just mildly out of sync, one of the best ways to become happier is to do something for others. Whether it’s an unexpected gift, an act of kindness and consideration, or even a word of praise or encouragement, offering goodwill to others is an incredibly effective way to enhance your own sense of joy and connection.
And when those acts of kindness are spontaneous, they’re even more fulfilling.
Here are a couple of simple ideas you might want to try:
- Stopping at a tollgate and covering the cost of the car behind you (worth doing at a fast food drive-through, too!)
- Paying forward the cost of a coffee or small meal down at your local coffee shop.
- In the South African context, many parents in less affluent communities purchase essential items from retailers on a lay-bye basis. That means they make a part payment, every month, until the item is paid for and they can then take it. So, perhaps consider popping into a retailer like the local Pep Stores or an equivalent and ask if they have any lay-bye customers who are purchasing a school uniform – and then pay in the balance for someone you’ve never met.
- If you know of someone who may be struggling, consider buying and anonymously delivering something they need – perhaps diapers for a child, or sanitary hygiene items.
- Purchase a couple of blankets, or some good-quality pet food (or both!), and pop down to your local animal shelter. The “thank you” expressed through the eyes of those who can’t speak is overwhelming, and will put all your own woes into perspective.
Sometimes, just taking the time to give someone a sincere compliment, or to give your time to help them with something that’s important to them, is more meaningful than you could ever imagine.
And, of course, by doing things that reflect kindness toward others, we begin to rewire our minds to form habits that make us nicer people. People who overlook small offences because we understand that someone else may just be having an awful day. People who wave others through an intersection with a smile. People who seek out the good in others rather than picking out faults and weaknesses.
WELLNESS IS FOR OTHERS, TOO
Kindness, at its root, is nothing less than the acknowledgement of human dignity. It’s a way of showing that we’re capable of behaving compassionately – and, once you start to think about it, it teaches us to extend our care-filled approach to our environment and our planet, too.
Here at Down To Earth, we subscribe wholeheartedly to kindness as a lifestyle – and as a business philosophy. From our organic growing practices to our cruelty-free ingredients, you can rest assured that we’re doing everything we can to ensure intelligent sustainability – and consideration for others, too.
Here’s another way you can practice a random act of kindness: if you know of someone who struggles with problem skin, consider gifting them one of our products that are formulated specifically for different issues or ailments.
Our African Potato Cream is a deep-penetrating natural lotion designed to soothe and hydrate skin that is dry or inflamed. It’s also used to treat sunburn, and to alleviate the symptoms of sprains, muscle or joint pain, and minor muscular injuries. It’s proven particularly effective at helping with autoimmune conditions like arthritis, and gout too. And because it contains African potato, aloe vera, avocado, and evening primrose oil, it’s packed with anti-inflammatory compounds that help retain your skin’s elasticity and youthfulness.
Our Clear Skin Gel is perfect for anyone who has highly sensitive or easily irritated skin – so it’s used to soothe rashes, minor cuts or grazes, or mosquito bites, and is ideal for treating rashes and acne, too. It’s antimicrobial and contains a powerful blend of aloe vera, tea tree, calendula, and echinacea.
As gifts go, these are options that are truly personal and thoughtful – as well as being practical.
FIRST, BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Sometimes, in our quest to be all things to all people, we forget to take time for ourselves. And so, we’d like to encourage you to remember that being kind to yourself should be on your program, too.
Pamper yourself. Have a daily routine where you can take a little time for self-care, because when you’re in a good space – physically, mentally, and emotionally – it’s that much easier to be kind to others.
From all of us here at Down To Earth, here’s wishing you a month of kindness!