From penguins to pizza, there’s a day for pretty much everything these days - and National Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrated on February 17th by individuals and organisations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness, 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:
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!
- Marketing Executive Lizzie
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 per profusely for her lovely comments and skipped the rest of the way down of the road with a big grin on my face!
- Accounts Manager Debbie
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!
- Accounts Manager Verity
Unlike Joey, we like to think that selfless good deeds do exist
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 Logistics Rebecca
Remember it’s never too late to do something nice
My mum had a tiny ring which she used to wear on her little finger, and when we were on holiday one year she lost it. Everyone on the beach searched for it, but in the end gave up, and we returned home without the ring. The next year we returned to the same beach, and the guy from behind the beach bar came running up to her as we arrived - they had found her ring at the end of the season, and held it for a whole year waiting to see if she turned up!
- Head of Marketing Charlotte
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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