The kindness of strangers

Have you seen the film ‘Pay it forward?’  We have too, and the idea that sometimes we give out our time or skills without wanting something back was right behind the original thinking for KindredHQ.

Anyone who works independently knows about the power of reciprocity.  It’s a language that you very quickly pick up when you go solo.  Just when you think you are alone, someone comes along with a kind word or a helpful and practical suggestion to help you on your way.

We are very interested in the random acts of kindness that we see everyday and we want to know more about how we can help power this incredible ecosystem.

Regular visitors to KindredHQ will know that Alex and Michael like getting out and about.  We were intrigued by the Pay it Forward meet organized in London this week.  The idea was simple.  Bring along a book that has inspired you and give it away to a complete stranger, explaining what the book means to you.

(sharing Please Take One*)

We joined around 100 people in Trafalgar Square to do that.   That’s a bunch of British people waving real books about, not the Kindle type.   What surprised us was the reaction of the lucky recipients.   People stopped and smiled and engaged in conversation.  We felt really good and left feeling that in a small way, we’d each changed someone’s life just a little.

A Good Week is a similar idea, although they’d prefer that we each decide what good feels like and we are probably inclined to agree.

Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. I still remember, after many years, the time a complete stranger noticed that I was a bit teary on the Tube one day and shared his chocolate, saying ‘Go on.  Life always feels better after a bit of chocolate’.

See I made you smile, didn’t I?

So, go on.  Make today the day that you something amazing to help someone, perhaps someone you don’t even know.  Promise you’ll feel great afterwards!


Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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