Last week, writer Annie Han attempted a Random Act of Kindness every day of the school week in a conscious effort to spread some more positivity and happiness. Random Acts of Kindness Day is tomorrow, Thursday 2nd July — make it your mission to go out of your way for someone else, too!
Day 1 Mission: Pick up litter around school.
- What I did: I tried to pick up every piece of rubbish I came across during school time (whether it was at morning tea, lunch time or while walking to another class).
- Outcome: This was an extremely difficult R.A.K. task (I know this may sound extremely funny and I don’t blame you for thinking that!) I initially chose this challenge because I thought that it would be very easy; however, I literally had to scan the school for litter. Nevertheless, I managed to find a lolly wrapper lying around in one of the classrooms.
- Reflection: Today I realised how clean our school is. This is an aspect of Macleans I’ve never given much thought about. This is possibly because many of us consider this ‘cleanliness’, as something that is an obvious necessity of the school. We are so fortunate to be able to attend such a pristine school, and we often forget that there are other schools out there where littering is common. As the days go by, we get so caught up in the everyday routine of our lives that we take little things, such as being able to attend a clean school, for granted.
Day 2 Mission – Tell the teacher one thing you liked about that class.
- What I did: After every class, I went up to my teacher and told them one thing I liked about that lesson.
- Outcome: Every teacher replied back with a smile. With some teachers, I could truly tell that their smile was genuine and that they really appreciated my comment.
- Reflection: When I decided to take this random act of kindness challenge, I felt a bit nervous. There were specific teachers I wasn’t very close with and the mere thought of me randomly going up to them after class to compliment them made me feel embarrassed. It was only after seeing their reactions that made me think doing this task was worth it; every teacher that I complimented today lit up after hearing what I liked about their class. One thing that surprised me was when a teacher, who is known to be quite expressionless, gave me a huge smile. After seeing that teacher smile I realised that sometimes you have to take the first step to get to know someone. Although it can seem quite daunting and awkward, most likely, he or she will really appreciate it.
Day 3 Mission: Give a bag of goodies to someone new to you.
- What I did: My task was to give a bag of lollies to someone I did not know very well or someone I have never talked to. My bag of lollies went to William. I met William last week during Macleans Model UN.
- Outcome: At first it seemed like William was really scared because he thought that I was pulling a prank on him… I have a feeling that he thought I was giving him expired lollies.
- Reflection: Seeing William’s reaction made me giggle a little inside. It took me a while to explain what was going on and to assure him that this wasn’t a prank. Assured, and confident, Michael said, “Thank you,” and even allowed me to take a picture with him to put up with this article. I felt really happy that day, even though William was the one who received the lollies and I was the one who had to buy them. I don’t know exactly why I felt good – maybe it was because I made someone smile today. But I guess the moral of today’s task is this: Do nice things for people just because you can.
Day 4 Mission: Email a teacher.
(Note: For privacy purposes, this teacher will be called “Ms. A”.)
- What I did: I messaged an ex-Macleans teacher–she managed my Young Enterprise group last year, and I never had the chance to properly thank her.
- Outcome: An unexpectedly long and sentimental reply back.
- Reflection: It’s important to thank those who played a positive role in your life. Ms. A had been an incredible mentor to my Young Enterprise company, Tick Tock, last year. Without her endless guidance and support Tick Tock would have not made such progress. However, the more success we achieved, the more we began to forget about those who have helped us along our journey. Unfortunately, Ms. A left Macleans last year and I never got to properly thank her for all the time and effort she put in, and even though it seems super awkward thanking her now, it’s better late than never.
Day 5 Mission: Lend your notes to a classmate who was absent.
- What I did: I lent my notes to someone in my class who was absent the previous day.
- Outcome: A big thank you and a smile.
- Reflection: This has got to be the least spontaneous R.A.K. task I have done this week. However, it’s amazing to see how a small act can go such a long way. Always remember that there are so many different ways to express kindness; showing kindness doesn’t have to be something grand.
Written by: Annie Han. Edited by: Daisy Huang and Saffron Huang.