When I was offered my job at Hancock Creative, I was given not a contract, but a bouquet of flowers, delivered to my door, with a little note welcoming me to the team. I mean, I was given a contract too – they’re a fairly professional bunch at Hancock Creative – but it was the bouquet of flowers that brightened my day.
I was fairly overwhelmed by this posy of blooms – it wasn’t an over-the-top or dramatic act of generosity, just a simple act of welcoming kindness that made me happy. It got me thinking: if my day could be turned around with a bunch of flowers – if that simple act was all it took to make me smile – then surely I should be passing that kind of happiness on.
And so, I did. Because of that warm, bloom-induced glow, I sent a similar posy to a friend of mine who’d just had some bad news. That seemed to cheer her up, and cheering her up felt good. I decided there and then to do more cheering up, when necessary.
That got the ball rolling, and suddenly, within days, small gifts of kindness were pinging their way across the country, back and forth, here and there, amongst my friend group. This. Felt. Great. I had a bad week, and found small packages of beads, chocolate and body scrub on my doorstep, all accompanied by sweet little notes of support. You can’t do that on Facebook. You can show support, but you can’t repair a battered old doll, and hand it back with a bottle of wine and a scented candle. That kindness changes the world.
In return, we – my husband and I – sent out our own little gifts. A four-pack of beer for a work chum of my husband’s. A card for a kid whose mum said checked the letterbox every day, hoping for post. Profiteroles. Home-made sausage rolls. Hand-drawn pictures of pets. It felt great. It felt wonderful.
Inspired by these acts of kindness, I did a call out on my blog, asking my lovely, lovely followers to commit their own random acts of kindness. And do you know? They did. They actually did! One lady bought a pack of sausages for an elderly gentleman who was scraping his spare change together at the checkout. Another gave afternoon tea to two lovely lads down by the river who were caring for a couple of handicapped guys. I was overwhelmed. I was in awe.
It’s rather apt that this kindness movement was inspired by Hancock Creative, whose sole purpose of being is to “pay it forward”. The not-for-profits and worthy causes Hancock Creative help are committing these acts of kindness every, single day – every hour of every day. I think, sometimes, these organisations forget the good they do in the world – the difference that they make. But those small acts of kindness – the little pick-me-ups and kind words provided effortlessly and without thought – they change lives. They save lives.
Written by Lisa Shearon
To read more of Lisa’s work, check out her blog The Notorious Mum