Tag Archives: RAOK

Changing My World, One Smile At A Time

4 Apr

Have you ever noticed how one tiny little action can influence your entire day? Let me give you an example.

I have just finished shopping and I am about to leave the shop with a couple of bags. As I reach the door, the person in front of me lets go of it in my face. This means I have to struggle to open the door myself and puts me in a bad mood. This mood stays with me as I drive home, I curse the drivers that pull out in front of me and my mood gets worse. I get home and stomp around, I slam the fresh fruit into the bowl. I now have bruised bananas and I want to cry.


I have just finished shopping and I am about to leave the shop with a couple of bags. As I reach the door, the person in front of me holds it open with a smile. This means I don’t have to struggle to open the door myself and puts me in a good mood. This mood stays with me as I drive home, I stop to let cars pull out in front of me and I am greeted with a grateful smile or nod and my mood gets better. I get home and put my shopping away, I make a nice display of fresh fruit in the bowl. My bananas are fine and I feel pretty happy.

Well, sort of, but you get the idea, right? I wonder if the person who held the door open (or not) had any idea of the impact that one small gesture could have on not only my day (and my bananas), but the day of everyone I then came into contact with. Be it good or bad, one little thing can spark a mood which can then be passed on to everyone you interact with then they, in turn, pass it on… Pretty soon you can have an awful lot of people feeling and acting either very good or, well, not so good. 

This got me thinking. Instead of getting caught up in someone else’s chain of events, what if I was the person to start the chain and make it a good one. It really doesn’t take much to brighten someones day or, at the very least, stop it getting any worse. If someone has just been shown some kindness are they not more likely to then show kindness to others? I like to think that the people I waved through in their cars all went on to do something similar for someone else on their way home.

So I am putting this into practice and I would like you to do the same. Not only will you end up making a whole bunch of people happy, but you will feel quite good about it too and score some good karma points along the way. In the last week I have held open some doors (obviously), shared chocolate with a stranger, sent an anonymous gift and complimented people who looked a bit down. I have to say, I think every one of those people walked away with a smile on their face. I can’t be sure about the gift, but I believe it had the desired effect!

I would absolutely love it if you made someone smile and then left me a comment to say what you did. Or write a blog post yourself and leave a link in the comments. If enough people are interested, I will set up a linky list of smiles to share. 

Be the person to start a chain of smiles and make your world a nicer place to live. 🙂


Sending Books To Strangers

7 Feb

We have just had some very bad days. Very bad. Even though I knew they were coming, I wasn’t ready for how bad they would be and they have knocked me sideways a bit. I am trying really hard to not think about it but I don’t know if that will be doing more harm than good when I am forced to deal with it. Anyway, in an attempt to balance out all the bad, I chose something from the RAOK section of my Day Zero list to complete.

82. Send a random stranger an item off their Amazon wish list (completed 29.01.2011)

I thought this would be something I could do quite quickly one night but it took hours. Probably because I’m a bit nosey and ended up clicking through loads of lists, wondering about the kind of person who had written each one and what varying tastes some people have. Death metal and cheesy pop on the same list? Really?

After already looking through so many, just choosing the next person to send a gift to didn’t seem fair. I decided to hit random on my favourite songs playlist and use the first name of the person singing. A quick look down the list of people and one of them had mentioned a favourite author of mine. His list had an address, was up to date and affordable. I had found my man. If only finding a suitable man was always this easy…

A book was chosen and sent. I had no idea how good this would make me feel. I think I was probably more excited sending the surprise than the recipient would be when he received it. I know how nice it is to receive something in the post when you’ve sent for it yourself, how good would it be to have a book you’ve had your eye on just land on your doorstep unexpectedly? It still makes me smile just thinking about it.

If anyone knows of any shops other than Amazon that have a similar wish list setup, please let me know. I will definitely be sending another random gift or two so I hope all your wish lists are up to date, it might be yours that I click on next!