February 16 – 23, 2020 is recognized as Random Act of Kindness Week. If winter has got you feeling long-in-the-tooth and short on patience, you might want to perk things up a bit by getting into the spirit of things! The Random Act of Kindness Week website encourages everyone to make kindness the norm at work and at school. In our own community of Six Nations, there are some great ways for you to make someone’s day, or “pay it forward,” which will put a spring in their step as they wait for the warmth of the next season!
The mission of Random Act of Kindness Week is to change our workplace and school atmospheres, our family time and our society through thoughtfulness and compassion. Locally, there are a variety of things you can do to focus on being kindhearted in the community, and it doesn’t have to break the bank or your mindset!
Set Aside Time for Family and Friends
Spending time with your loved ones may seem like a no-brainer, but in today’s fast-paced society, it can often get overlooked. Have you ever caught up with relatives or buddies, only to hear them say, “Long-time-no-see!” or “We only see each other on special holidays,”? Taking some time on a weeknight or a Saturday or Sunday to just grab someone a tea or even some local takeout and hang out can make the difference in their entire week. Sharing time with our Elders is something we can all benefit from and it’s not hard to do. Pick up the phone or just stop in – they may have the coffee on, or they may be sitting in their favourite chair just waiting to be asked how their day is going. It never hurts to be kind.
Paying it Forward
Speaking of grabbing a coffee or tea, there are always stories of those kind-hearted ones in our community who have thoughtfully paid for the order of someone behind them in the drive-thru. Whether at Lone Wolf, the Drinking Box, Tim Horton’s, or one of our many community fast-food sites, there’s always an opportunity to overpay on your order and leave some for the person behind you. Or, if you’re meeting friends, family, or coworkers for a meal, consider leaving a generous tip for your server. Maybe even consider leaving some quarters behind at the laundromat for someone to come across unexpectedly. The smallest notions can sometimes have the biggest impact!
Volunteering and Donations
Community events and activities are always looking for assistance and time from those who are happy to help. Volunteering for festivities at the Woodland Cultural Centre, Kayanase, Chiefswood National Historic Site, and Her Majesty’s Royal Chapel of the Mohawks are a great way to make kindness part of your regular routine in and around Six Nations, and not just something to focus on for one week out of the year. Donations are also a great way to help out in the community, and the Six Nations Community Food Bank and Ganohkwasra are two shining examples of locales that could use your support.
Random Act of Kindness Week doesn’t have to mean that your thoughtfulness gets relegated to a short space on the calendar. There are so many inspiring ways you can make a large impact on someone’s day in our community with even the smallest of gestures. A coffee and a toasted bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese for your friendly neighborhood counterparts doesn’t hurt (wink, wink,) but don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!