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#8 Accessing Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Week and Valentines Day Tips: The Accessibility Edition

"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu.

man holding umbrella over flower

Every so often, it's nice to dispel the stresses of life by doing something kind for another person. You'll be amazed at how quickly that dark cloud disappears when you feel the warm, gooey delight of kindness disseminate through your body. So here are a few ideas for how you can make someone else's (as well as your own) day a whole lot better by performing a random act of accessibility kindness!

1. Smile. The BEST thing you can do to make the world a more accessible place is to have a warm and approachable attitude. Smile at people on the street, say hello, and remember that we are all human beings with a desire to be connected and included in society.

2. Help a mother lift her pram up the steps: Alright, men of New Zealand! This one's definitely for you. There is something programmed in your DNA that makes you want, nay, NEED, to put on your metaphorical top-hat and waistcoat, and help a damsel in distress. Ladies, put aside your equal rights placards this week and sweetly accept this kind act of chivalry - who knows when it will come around next!
This tip can also double as a special Valentine's Day act of kindness - remember that parents with pushchairs have many of the same access needs as a person in a wheelchair so your wife or girlfriend will swoon if you take notice and help her out with some of these!

3. Read or play music to an older person: In the busy rush of life, we don't often stop to appreciate beautiful music or literature, but this is something that many older people have realized is the secret to a beautiful life. So while keeping an older person company, you could also learn a little bit about 'stopping and smelling the roses' for yourself!

4. Give directions to someone who's lost: Tourists and foreigners have many access needs, including language barriers and unfamiliar spaces! If you see someone looking a little bit dazed and confused on the busy streets of Auckland, or looking at an upside-down map in our bare, sparse countryside, stop and give them a hand. Karma will repay you if you're ever trying to navigate the Indian railway system or hail a NYC taxi!

5. Help a friend or neighbour with the gardening / house-cleaning: Get your exercise fix as well as some Vitamin D in your system by helping someone who has trouble with physical activity, such as an older person or someone who uses a wheelchair, by mowing their lawns, pulling out some weeds, or water-blasting their driveway! NB: If you're not a gardening aficionado, perhaps ask which plants you should pull out before assuming which are weeds!