Acts of kindness can be as simple as buying someone a coffee, smiling at a stranger or offering to help with a task.
With Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day taking place Thursday, Feb. 17, Brock employees are reminded to consider participating in a year-long journey to make kindness the norm.
The initiative was created by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and centres around a monthly calendar with daily suggestions of kindness, compassion and self-care. Brock staff, faculty and librarians can use the suggestions or come up with their own acts of kindness to help create a caring and considerate working environment.
Ken Chan, Brock’s Vice-President, Administration, encourages employees to be kind on RAK Day and every day.
“Brock is known for its caring community, so an initiative focused on a virtue many of our faculty, staff and librarians already regularly demonstrate should be easy to embrace,” Chan says. “Kindness is one of the simplest, yet most important things we can do for ourselves and for each other. If we all take a few minutes out of our days to purposefully and thoughtfully show kindness, we will all be happier for it.”
Kindness has been shown to improve mental health and well-being. It increases satisfaction and happiness, and reduces stress and anxiety. Kindness is also considered an interpersonal skill that can help strengthen relationships.
Celebrating others’ successes, offering a helping hand, sharing words of appreciation, being friendly and considerate, and taking care of oneself are all examples of kindness.
“Kindness can truly make a positive difference,” says Chan. “Recipients of kindness are often inspired to pay it forward and act kindly towards another person. How wonderful it would be to have the entire University community spread kindness at Brock and beyond to our friends, family and neighbours.”
Each month of the workplace kindness calendar focuses on a theme, such as reflection, human connection and inclusiveness. With RAK Week from Feb. 13 to 19 and RAK Day on Feb. 17, the theme for the February calendar is ‘kindness.’ Examples of daily suggestions in February include:
- Schedule time to reconnect with a colleague.
- Share favourite books with others.
- Write a positive LinkedIn review for a co-worker.
- Post inspirational notes in public for others to find.
- Take time to oneself when feeling overwhelmed.
Chan suggests University departments include the workplace kindness calendar as a part of their team meetings, manager updates and newsletters.
“Incorporate the kindness calendar into daily work life so kindness becomes a topic people expect to talk about and act on,” he says.
In addition to the actions suggested on each day of the calendar, several kindness resources and tips can be found on the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.
There are also several initiatives taking place across campus for Random Acts of Kindness Day. These include:
- Brock Interim President Lynn Wells and staff members with Student Life and Success will be handing out items, such as food vouchers donated by Brock Dining Services. They will be passing through many areas of Brock’s main campus, including busy areas such as the Rankin Family Pavilion lobby, Thistle Hall and Market Hall.
- Student Life and Success is hosting a thank-you card station in Market Hall. Students and employees can write notes of appreciation or encouragement and hand them out to people within the Brock community. Ideas include thanking friends, colleagues and classmates; custodial, maintenance and cafeteria staff; student advisors; instructors; and others who have made a positive impact.
- Alumni Relations is asking members of the Brock community, including students, graduates and employees, to share messages of kindness with staff and faculty who made a difference in their lives at Brock via an online form on the Alumni Relations website. Alumni Relations staff will then email the messages to recipients.
- The Dons of Activities in residences are hosting a candy gram program that asked students to submit candy gram submissions for other students in residences. More than 600 submissions were received and will be delivered by student staff.
For more information on Random Acts of Kindness Day, visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website. Questions regarding Brock’s involvement with the year-long initiative to make kindness the norm can be directed to Health Management and Wellness at firstname.lastname@example.org