Yes, I love my heart from Stitch Buffalo, thank you very much! I hope you had a happy Valentine’s day, too? It so happens that today is another notable date here, so this time I’m able to wish you a happy St David’s Day.
As you know, Wales’ patron saint’s day is enthusiastically marked here with concerts, processions, dinners and the little children going to school in national dress. One of my happy memories of our time in college is that you used to give me a bunch of daffodils on 1 March every year. St David himself would have approved of your thoughtful gesture; he encouraged his followers to ‘do the little things’ – acts of kindness which are within our reach everyday. I think this feels like quite a modern concept – and of course chimes with our own aim here on the blog to take Small steps to making a difference.
The Ripple Effect
Studies in positive psychology have shown that kindness is contagious – or “generally reciprocal” as Dr Johnson put it. These days it’s sometimes called the Ripple Effect and it’s been shown that a small gesture may inspire someone to go on to make a bigger commitment, perhaps to helping others by volunteering or getting involved in a local cause. Researchers have also found that the effects are long lasting – in one study, people who carried out six small acts of kindness in a day were still feeling increased levels of happiness six weeks later. So, once again, it’s true that helping others helps us, too.
I’ll keep that in mind today and I think I’ll make Welsh cakes and take some to our neighbours; they are Italian and often pop in with panettone or other treats for us to try. Sometimes small kindnesses can be delicious, too!