Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness - Marco Moreo Milano

Every now and then, I find myself pausing to think about those small, seemingly insignificant gestures that – partly from upbringing and partly by nature - I end up doing daily without giving them much thought. For instance, letting someone go first when entering the lift, chatting with the supermarket cashier, and politely turning down yet another call centre operator trying to sell me a home water purifier.

It’s called “kindness” and I think it’s an underrated trait. It’s not one of the seven cardinal virtues, nor is it considered an emotion. It’s a free act that expresses the desire to create a positive (albeit fleeting) connection with others, to gift an unexpected moment of beauty that interrupts (even if just for the time of a smile and a “Thank you”) the inattentive flow of city life.

I become especially aware of this when I unexpectedly become the recipient of the small gestures that I’m used to giving to others rather than receiving myself. I find myself surprised by it. I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t want to make it a daily practice when it’s scientifically proven that building good relationships with others improves mood and extends our lives. 

I don’t know if kindness to oneself falls under this virtuous mechanism, but taking care of oneself, indulging in a treat now and then, buying a gift for oneself, or celebrating each day by choosing a colour to wear can be a good place to start… and perhaps also making the effort to smile at others.

Shall we smile together?