Random Acts of Kindness – Making the world a better place

A random act of kindness is an act that offers kindness towards the outside world, without the expectation of receiving a reward in return. When Ann Herbert playfully changed the original sentence 'random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty' to 'random kindness and senseless acts of beauty', writing it on a place mat in Sausalito, California, back in 1982, she changed the world. Just a little... but it changed. Her book, Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, was published in 1993, a lovely, uplifting book telling true stories about remarkable acts of kindness.

Our own random acts of kindness contest

We launched our own Random Act of Kindness Contest (RAK) contest recently. We did it because kindness has been scientifically proven to increase oxytocin, the love hormone. Kindness gives us energy, makes us feel happier, and even increases our lifespan. It also delivers pleasure and releases the feel-good chemical serotonin. At the same time kindness decreases pain, cuts stress and anxiety, reduces depression, and lowers our blood pressure.

All this makes us feel great, which means we work better, enjoy our work more, and please our customers more. And because kindness costs nothing, we can all get involved in making our world - and the wider world outside work – a better place.

We asked the staff to perform random acts of kindness for others and report back to us the same day. Annabel Yeo and Nurmunirah Mohamad Riah, both from Aktiv ASPAC, were two of the participants, and they were rewarded with a prize of RM150 each.

Annabel's story

Annabel Yeo and Sydney Gan (seated)

Annabel Yeo feels that kindness is a genuine and habitual act, something she tries to do all the time, not just on special occasions. She practices kindness even when nobody else knows about it or notices, it's something private that doesn't need to be talked about or seen to be valued. And she did an amazing thing – instead of carrying out acts of kindness herself, she supported our intention of motivating kindness in society by choosing to share someone else's act of kindness.

Annabel witnessed Sydney's kindness when she helped an armless seller put paintings Annabel had bought from him inside a plastic bag during our Danang company trip. The act touched his heart and hers as well. Although using a plastic bag seems a simple task for us, for him it was really challenging. As Annabel said, “this beautiful act added good memories to my company trip because I treasure kind hearted people."

Nurmunirah's story

Nurmunirah Mohamad Riah

Nurmunirah Mohamad Riah shared a recent experience that she had. When she and her husband went to their local supermarket to buy groceries, they forgot to take their motorbike key, leaving it in the bike while they went shopping. When they returned they were horrified to find the key missing, but when they looked closer they discovered a little note from a very kind person that said, “kunci dalam helmet” - 'your keys are in the helmet'. How sweet of them. As Nurmunirah said, “The person had put them there for safety, and his kindness certainly spread lots of positive vibes!"

We would also like to thank Sydney Gan for brightening up the day of the armless Orang Kurang Upaya and inspiring Annabel – and now us – with his random act of kindness.

In a crazy world, we all need as much love as we can get. Next time you are in a situation where you can carry out a random act of kindness, do it. It'll make you feel great, make the person you were kind to feel great, and you will spread the love.

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