Did you see the article about kindness in The Sunday Times Style Magazine last weekend? Apparently "it’s suddenly rather sexy to be kind." Which is great news for the Irish clothing company ARK, a company founded on the idea of kindness. ARK stands for Acts of Random Kindness Ltd and they are dedicated to making the world a nicer place to live with one simple yet powerful idea; every time you wear their t-shirts you perform one act of random kindness. Buy a stranger an icecream, give up your seat on the bus, make your Mum a cup of tea. Its a small thing to do but it could really make someone's day. And as they said so well in the Sunday Times "Kindness has an almost explosive quality: tiny acts swell far beyond their original size and scope." So ultimately one small act of random kindness is a step towards making the world a better place.
I started looking around and saw that people weren't just buying clothing, they were buying an identity to adopt a way of life. Instead of putting on a t-shirt to be someone great, why couldn't you wear one to do something great?
There is a range of ethically produced, 100% cotton ladies and lads t-shirts, polo shirts and long sleeved tops. On the front is the opening line of the
'When you're wearing Ark, you're on the look out. What can I do? Who could I help? It's not like wearing any old t-shirt. There's this tingle of anticipation when you throw it on in the morning, not knowing where it will lead you'
When I first heard about ARK I got really excited. It’s such a simple but wonderful idea. And the Christmas Season is the perfect time for kindness. These T-shirts would make great Christmas presents. (I have at least one person in mind for one already!) However its also a really good time for all of us to step away from the computer for a while and go and do something kind. So I've got a Challenge for you...
Do one Act of Random Kindness this week then email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell me what your ARK was, what happened and how you got on. I'll share these stories on the blog in the run up to Christmas, hopefully giving us all more ideas and inspiration for acts of kindness over the Christmas Season. In addition to the sense of satisfaction you'll get from making the world a nicer place for someone, you'll also be entered in a draw for the ARK t-shirt of your choice, thanks to the kind people at ARK HQ.
If you need any ideas or inspiration for your Acts of Random Kindness check out the ARK Facebook Page where they are suggesting a different ARK every day in the run up to Christmas, and you can also read about some of the ARKs they've done in the past. (Everything from giving out Rice Krispie buns to bringing in the turf, the photos are great!) Or read this inspiring interview by Blaubushka with Cameron Stewart, Director and Sáileog O Halloran, the ARK fashion expert. Your ARK doesn't have to be a big dramatic thing (although obviously it can be if you want!). It can be something small like buying a chocolate bar and leaving it in a vending machine for the next person to find or making a cup of tea for someone in your office. So don't procrastinate... step away from the computer and find someone to ARK!
So to summarise:
- Do one Act of Kindness between now and next Monday 14th December.
- Email me at email@example.com about your ARK before midnight Monday 14th December (Irish time!) with "ARK Challenge" in the subject line.
- I will post some of the stories on the blog in the run up to Christmas so if you don't want me to publish your name or story for any reason let me know.
- I will put the names of anyone who emails me into a hat and pull out one name to win the ARK t-shirt of their choice.