5 Random Acts of Kindness - We Can All Be Philanthropists
From penguins to pizza, there’s a day for pretty much everything these days - and World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on 19th August by individuals and organisations nationwide to encourage thoughtfulness and kindness to others, is one that we can get on board with. (To be honest, we can get on board with National Penguin Day and National Pizza Day too.)
Working with incredible individuals on daily basis, our team here at Speakers Corner are often left in awe at the stories of inspirational speakers who have used their status, innovation and intelligence to help others in the name of altruism.
Keynote speaker Simon Cohen, for example, made history when he gave away his one-million-pound company and put the whole company on sabbatical for a year. Considered one of the most complex and courageous decisions made within the business realm, he continues to strive to make the world a more fulfilled place, shaking up corporate audiences with his unique and effective business messages.
Then there are the likes of Sally Becker, who is known as the ‘Angel of Mostar’, after she put her own life in danger to save hundreds of children from war-torn Bosnia in the 90s. She continues to work with international charities to promote peace, calls on governments to take action, and draws on her experience in warzones to inspire audiences as a powerful keynote and motivational speaker.
We tip our hats to these philanthropists, whose work serves as a powerful illustration of pure human goodness and inspires us to aim for similar feats.
That said, acts of kindness don’t need to be grandiose to be impactful. They can be small, random and delivered by a stranger. In a nod to National Random Acts of Kindness Day, we asked some of our team to share a few anecdotes of their own, to remind us that a seemingly minor act can go a very long way:
Brighten up someone's day with a compliment
"Back in the summer, I was walking down Holloway Road and a lovely lady came up to me and said she loved my orange top and asked where I had bought it from as she had been looking for one exactly like it! I told her ‘in my very British way’ that it was just a cheap one from H&M and they did them in lots of different colours and she should go and have a look! I then thanked her profusely for her lovely comments and skipped the rest of the way down of the road with a big grin on my face!"
- Account Manager Debbie
Go the extra mile to do someone a favour
"My bank card dropped out of my pocket after using it to touch out at Victoria station. The first I knew about it was when my bank called to say my card had been cancelled. I was amazed and eternally grateful that someone picked up the card and cancelled it so quickly. It really puts your faith back in humanity!"
- Head of Operations Rebecca
Treat somebody who’s down on their luck
"At the time a random act of kindness happened to me, I was a poor student, and I think I was discussing this fact out loud. I was in a café and when I came to pay the bill, the waitress informed me that the lady on the table behind had covered our tab. Unfortunately, she had left 5 minutes before and done it in secret, so I couldn’t ever thank her – but maybe somehow this blog will get back to her!"
Save a stranger some… um… embarrassment
"I was at the swimming pool before work recently (NB: this is not a regular occurrence), and I was in my swimming costume, ready to get in the pool. On closing the locker, I realised that it required a pound to lock it – which I didn’t have. I sheepishly asked someone at a nearby locker if they might have one, but they didn’t. I was almost considering dashing out to the reception in a towel when someone from across the changing rooms piped up and offered me a pound. A small gesture, but nonetheless a gesture for which I was incredibly grateful!"
Unlike Joey, we like to think that selfless good deeds do exist
Show someone you care
"For my birthday last year, I was feeling gloomy about celebrating as a lot of important people who I'd want to be there weren't in London or even in the country (!) for all kinds of reasons. Little did I know, my friend was secretly plotting to get as many of them as possible here for my actual birthday and had arranged a surprise party for me - I just found the whole thing so thoughtful, and it definitely put my gloom to rest!"
Well isn't that all lovely. Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired to go out there and do something nice today for a stranger!
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