From paying for a stranger’s coffee to sending distant friends uplifting letters, Dani Saveker has performed an act of kindness every single day for almost three years.
We first met Dani back in February when she made a video diary detailing her progress, but now she’s about to celebrate one very big milestone: completing 1,000 acts of kindness. To mark the occasion she’s encouraging other people to follow her lead and complete an act of kindness every day for 21 days.
“My definition of kindness is ‘to give without exception or expectation’. With most of the kindness acts, I don’t know how the recipient will have received them,” the mum-of-three, from Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, tells HuffPost UK. “So when I do get feedback, it never ceases to make me realise how fortunate I am and makes me realise we need more connection in the world. It spurs me on.”
As CEO of GLAS Group, a company that provides support to business owners, Dani was interested in the idea that kindness is an essential component of successful leadership. The 46-year-old decided to complete an act of kindness each day throughout January 2016 as a research project, but it soon took over her life in a way that went far beyond the regular nine-to-five.
Within three weeks she realised her daily acts of kindness, such as leaving a note and a packet of sweets on a stranger’s car, felt undermined if she later gave into road rage because she’d had a tough afternoon. She carried on completing the acts, but also allowed kindness to seep into every aspect of her life.
“Something switched in me where I thought ‘if I’m going to commit to this, I need to commit to this properly,’” she explains. “Before I knew it I’d reached the end of the first year. I’d done 366 acts – it was a leap year – but more than that, it had changed the way I viewed things and there was a real shift in me.”