My London challengeLittle people, my friends included, knew about this but I decided after being shitty at London living one day that I would commit to a UK challenge that I hoped would have far reaching results. I have to admit I was hoping that at least one person would react but I wasn’t expecting huge results considering that my motivation was the very thing that I thought would hinder my challenge’s success.
I decided that I would commit at least 1 random act of kindness each day on public transport. It started off with a lady who needed a pen, it grew to a man who needed a tissue and then developed to a dude who ever so eloquently doused himself with Coke whilst riding the Jubilee line one late afternoon amidst the rush home. Each time people had entirely different reactions. The first time I gave a lady a pen to use for a few seconds it was like I was a bloody miracle that I had helped her and then when I told her as the train approached Greenwich station that she could keep the pen it was like I was suddenly transformed into a female God yet to me I had done nothing.
After a few days of ensuring I was committing these random acts of kindness I began to feel far better about living in London and I also starting approaching the train in the morning as an opportunity to stand and not a ‘why didn’t I get a seat’ moment, despite the colossal amounts one pays per week for a train pass. Perhaps positive affirmations do in fact help more than one person; the affected, the train driver, fellow passengers and myself. Who could have thought huh?!
Several months passed, several acts of kindness committed. Do I consider myself a hero, no. In fact I consider that I just reaffirmed what I always thought was going on, people have become so involved with themselves, tired and also afraid of connecting with strangers that they shut off to their whole world. That is probably why when I first came to London creating the analogy of Londoners being dead bodies Monday to Friday and children on Saturday and Sunday was quite a simple thought process for me. Then I recall having a conversation with a friend who suggested that society has become so soft that people are not pushing back and saying that we do not approve of peoples’ idiotic behaviour for fear of retribution and hence we silently perpetuate it. But I would like to boldly suggest that we can in fact attack the negative with positive without fear of retribution. This can be done through random acts of kindness. When we act in kindness people can see our hearts. They know our motives and it is that in which people respond to so positively, that is why they respond ‘bless you’ as you finish assisting them with the rather small task you have been 'burdened' with for a minute or two. The more who can repetitively commit acts of kindness the more infectious good becomes in our lives, the less we will see posters about surprising ‘good’ happening in London city and the more we can start to validate each other for the positive.