Today is World Kindness Day, an annual celebration of good deeds introduced in 1997 by a collection of humanitarian groups to inspire people across the globe to be especially kind, generous and compassionate to those around them. The smallest act can be considered an act of kindness, from holding open a door to picking up litter, but there are a number of people out there who have gone above and beyond, with both the simplest and grandest of gestures, to make another’s life a little easier. To celebrate this most lovely of days, AnOther has compiled a list of the Top 10 Acts of Kindness – from hand written thank-you notes to a security guard playing make believe – to brighten up your day, and hopefully inspire you to partake in some acts of kindness of your own.
1. The Jones soft drinks company print inspirational notes and sayings on the inside of their bottle caps, in order to brighten up the day of whoever has purchased a drink from them.
2. Veterinary surgeon Kevin Anderson posted this adorable photo on Facebook with the following caption. 'A dog hit by a car was brought into the clinic. We had to amputate her leg. The owner's granddaughter wrote us this note. This folks, is why I do what I do.'
3. A man saves a basket of kittens from flooding in India.
4. This note was left on a unsuspecting car owners window.
5. A volunteer group named The Kindness Offensive have created a free bookshop in an abandoned pub in Holloway, where visitors can borrow and return books or take them home to keep. Every piece of literature has been donated by publishers or saved from a future in a landfill site. Dedicated to performing 'random acts of kindness', the group wanted to 'put books back into people's hands' for the forseeable future.
6. A fire fighter feeds water to a koala whose home had been destoyed during the fateful Black Saturday bush fires in Australia in 2009.
7. Recently an American waitress picked up two female soldiers' lunch bills after hearing them talking about government cuts and how they were struggling to get by. Talk show host Ellen Degeneres heard about her act of kindness and refunded the waitress the $27 the bill had cost her, as well as a surprise cheque for $10,000 as a big thank-you.
8. A security guard at Disney Land made a little girl's day when he asked if he could have an autograph from the princess. The little girl obliged, amazed that he believed her to be a real princess; his autograph book was full of signatures from other children whose dreams had come true during a day out at Disney Land.
9. A man gives a homeless girl his shoes in Rio de Janeiro.
10. A boy offers a deer shelter from the storm.
Compiled by Rhiannon Wastell