Looking at the world today it’s easy to feel that people are becoming ruder, angrier, and less happy every day. This is especially true in a fast-paced city like London, where everybody is rushing around like mad, stressed, underslept, and overworked. When you’re packed into a carriage on the underground, standing shoulder to shoulder with a thousand other grumpy people, it’s hard to crack a smile without looking a little crazy. It’s in times like these, though, that we need to be kind to each other. If everyone is sick and tired, kindness is the cure.
Being kind doesn’t mean having to change the world. Small, random acts of kindness can make you feel good and create connections with the people around you. When you hold the door open for a stranger, or help an elderly woman carry her heavy shopping bags without expecting to get anything in return, you free yourself from being self-centred and you make the community you live in more open and loving. When people see you being kind to others, they’re more likely to do the same. So be kind and lead by example. Your whole community will benefit.
So, where do you start? In London, there are so many opportunities to help others. Every High Street has charity shops that sell things to make money for a good cause. Here in Turnpike Lane there are charity shops for Shelter, an organisation that helps the homeless, Cancer Research UK , which helps fund research to cure cancer, North London Hospice, which helps with medical care for people who are very ill, and many more. Why not donate old clothes or books to these shops or, even better, why not volunteer to help out? There are also food banks and community gardens that help people with financial problems stay healthy and have something to eat. You can volunteer at these places and really make a difference in the lives of your friends and neighbours. You can find many opportunities to join your community and spread kindness at Haringey Giving, an organisation that helps you get involved. And in March, Ingla is going to clean up Duckett’s Common in Turnpike Lane to make our community cleaner and brighter. Join us, because every little bit helps! Being kind costs nothing, but makes the world, your city, and neighbourhood a much better place to live.