Many of you may be familiar with the concept “pay it forward”. The idea is that whenever you are the recipient of a good deed; instead of paying the person back, you do something nice for someone else.
Recently, I was the benefactor of such a kind act, when I experienced a blow-out with a tyre and had to turn off the motorway on a cold, dark night. A young man and his mum stopped to help. When I discovered the tyre was too far-gone and the sealant pump would not work, I realised I would have to get my car towed. Luckily, I had family nearby and without hesitation, the duo offered to drop me off to them.
Life can be difficult enough, especially as we come up to Christmas. These random acts of kindness can help to remind us there are good people in the world who give us hope. They encourage us to be kinder and more compassionate to others too.
I know I felt very grateful when these people stopped to help me. So, it got me thinking - what can we do to support others this Christmas?
There are so many options to choose. Remember, you do not have to wait to receive a good deed. You can be the person to start it.
- Ask your family and friends to make a donation in your name instead of giving you a gift this Christmas.
- Next time you see a homeless person, offer to buy them food, a hot drink or emergency provisions. More importantly, take the time to talk to them – a simple smile and chat can make their day.
- Check in on an elderly neighbour to see if they need anything repaired or picked up from the shops. Alternatively, just stop by for a natter and a cup of tea.
- Sign up and donate money to a local charity, give clothes and unused items too.
- Take a name off the giving tree this Christmas and buy a gift.
- When you see someone struggling with bags, buggies or suitcases, offer help or hold the door for them.
- When leaving a car park with time still on your ticket, give it to someone who has just arrived. If you notice someone else’s ticket has run out, renew it for them.
- Pay for someone else coffee next time you are buying a hot drink. Do the same with toll fees too.
- Let people go ahead of you in a queue, when they only have a few items or are in a hurry.
- Drop in a cooked meal or offer to help with errands for neighbours, families and friends who are dealing with sick family members.
- Give your coupons to the person behind you in the supermarket queue. Give people change when you know they are short.
- Give up your seat on the bus, train or in a busy waiting room.
- If you meet someone standing in the rain without an umbrella, offer to share yours.
- Give a generous tip to the hard-working service staff in your favourite restaurant. Remember to give good feedback for excellent service too.
- Donate blood or sign up for an organ donation card.
- If you see someone at the side of the road with a flat tire, stop and offer to help.
- Give your time and free expertise to local community groups or charities.
- Sign up for a challenge and use the opportunity to raise money for charity.