Hello lovely Razz readers, just to quickly introduce myself – I’m Jess, one of your Co-Editors for next year, i’m very excited to start Razzing some berries and look forward to meeting you all!
With revision and dissertation hell currently ongoing, I’ve been following a blog which is a guaranteed pick-me-up. This week I had a quick chat to the owner, be prepared to take a trip into…WILLIAM’S WONDERFUL WORLD.
The William in question is a London student who, spurred on by a book by Danny Wallace (365 Acts of Random Kindness), is carrying out a Random act of Kindness or ‘RAOK’ every day for a whole year. Taking kindness out to the streets of London Will blogs about each RAOK, documenting his mission to make the world that little bit better – his work is truly inspiring and despite these RAOKs being no piece of cake, Will is very committed. I had a chat to him about himself, his blog and his experiences so far…
What has been your favourite Random Act of Kindess so far and why?
My favourite RAOK so far has to be between RAOK No. 11 – Clean your neighbours car without them knowing, whether they like it or not. Or RAOK No. 5 – Drop some flowers off at a maternity ward. They both were good fun to do. No.11 was kinda risky as the person honestly had no idea I was cleaning their car, so they could have come out at any point and, well I have no idea what they would have done being in Peckham and all. I’m thankful it all went well though. No.5 was really nice, as the new mother was not expecting it and it really made her smile. My friend who came with me even said she felt so happy and proud after seeing me do it.
What makes a massive difference to me is when people get that smile come across their face, that really only happens when taken by surprise. It is the same smile that everyone has from ear to ear with their pearly whites hanging out.
Which act has been the most challenging?
The most challenging would have to be RAOK No. 16 – Teach some police how to skip. I was really surprised how rude some of them were when I asked them if I could skip with them. I did manage to get a community warden to do it eventually after a great deal of searching. And she was actually very pleasant and friendly. I even went into a police station and told them what I was doing, they still told me to get out the door.
If you could invent three RAOKs what would they be?
When certain items are buy one get one free, buy them and then give one to a stranger in the street.
Do something spontaneous for either a friend or stranger (bonus points if it’s a stranger) in the street. Whether that is simply shouting something nice or buying them a cup of coffee and then running off.
Designate a whole day to helping people out. When ever possible say yes and help them do whatever the need.
Has following Danny Wallace’s book made you think any differently about people or where you live?
Yes. I feel as though I always have to explain myself to people who are on the receiving end of my RAOK’s. Why can people not just accept a random nice thing now and then. It’s a sad reflection on society. We have been brainwashed by the media to be afraid of everybody walking down the street. Stranger danger has been taken to the max.
I have found people in general to be really sceptical of what I am doing and what I want in return. Most of the time, I have to explain to people what I am doing before they will, for example allow me to buy them an ice-cream. It’s kind of frustrating as I am just a great guy trying to bring happiness to people in their everyday lives.
I grew up in the countryside, and it was common place to say hello to the person you passed on the road, or at least smile and wave. People in the countryside are more up for receiving a RAOK without any questions, such as RAOK 36 giving water to people in the gym. Everyone accepted it without questioning. Whereas if I was to do that in London, I am sure no one would accept without me explaining what I was doing first. I like the challenge of changing Londoners and making them happier people.
I hope if my blog spreads a bit further people will happily accept RAOK.
Are you going to do anything to celebrate completing all your RAOKs?
I am going to try and get all my followers to do a RAOK themselves. Once they have done it I want them to tell me all about it. The one who does the best RAOK and the best coverage of it will win a prize. Not sure what that will be yet. Maybe I will throw a massive Random Act of Kindness themed party. Everyone has to do a RAOK at the party. Could be cool. I guess I will start something else as well. Maybe you could suggest something! Maybe send your suggestions to email@example.com or if you just want to get together and have a drink. I’m up for it.
If you had to pick one inspiration in life what or who would it be?
Really… do I have to do this? At Christmas we were asked this question in church. I don’t regularly attended church but I do on Christmas day. It’s a bit of a hoot. Everyone was saying famous people, like pop stars, and actors. It came to me, and all I could think of was my Mum. Or as my friends keep telling me, I pronounce it Mom.
She is awesome. So, yes, she would have to be my inspiration in life. Not because she has overcome a battle with a terminal illness or saved the children in Africa, but because she has done an amazing job of raising all of us. We are a big family of 4 boys, and top marks have to go to my mum. Clearly she was on the search for the perfect child, and when I popped out, number 4, she knew I was the one. Still to this day she is the rock in our family. Some how she manages to hold everything together and support us all in what we want to do. I just hope I can be half a good parent as she has been and still, that will be a bloody good one.
Favourite genre of music at the moment?
I don’t have a favourtie genre of music. My favourite album at the moment is the TopGun soundtrack. It gets me in the right frame of mind when I am out and about committing my RAOK’s. It’s epic. If I had to choose a favourite genre, judging by my iTunes at the moment, it would have to be reggae. Its got to that time of year, when the sun is poking itself back out from behind the clouds and everyone is feeling happier. If you asked me another day, or at another time of the year it would be different. Just like a high quality restaurant menu, I am pretty seasonal.
Favourite sweet or chocolate?
Would have to be refreshers. They remind me of when I was a child sitting in my mum’s car as she was rallying about, ferrying all my brothers back and forth from ballet, and poetry class. Now she drives like a vicar though. I try and give her a refresher to speed her up but that doesn’t work.
Big thank you to Will for sparing a second from his kindness-spreading to answer our questions. Razz readers feel free to send us any suggestions of RAOKs or acts of kindness you’ve enjoyed doing – let’s see if we can make Exeter that little bit kinder!
READ ABOUT (and make sure you follow!) WILL’S WONDERFUL WORK HERE: http://fantasticmrfrancis.blogspot.com/
Lots of purple love
(Co-Editor for next year)