Today's columnist, Elaine Mitchell: Take up the kindness challenge

We've all been there, toddler on the bus, hot and sticky throwing a tantrum because he wanted his daddy.

Thursday, 16th June 2016, 1:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2016, 2:58 pm

His mummy just wasn’t cutting it at that time. She was getting flustered and was attempting to pacify her stressed-out kid. There were lots of people on the bus and the tuts and sighs commenced. A couple attempted to chat to the little guy. He wasn’t having any of it. Then the lady went into her bag and produced a bag of sweets. This caused a bit of a lull, in all honesty he was beyond the point of no return.

But that magical bag of sweeties changed the whole ambience of the bus. The passengers were no longer disturbed by the yelling and screaming. They showed sympathy and empathic glances towards the red – faced, snotty toddler and his equally red-faced mum.

One random act of kindness and it changes a whole journey.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Random acts of kindness – one showing of tolerance and everyone accepted the situation.

We are lucky living in the big village of Sheffield as generally we are a compliant, connective collective. If we see a mum struggling with her child we will offer a bag of sweeties. If we see a jogger struggling up a hill we will offer a smile and words of encouragement.

(Thanks lady, I was gasping for air but didn’t give in because of you)

If we see a homeless person in the Peace Gardens he gets a breakfast and a coffee from Greggs. (My husband is a good egg)

Connection and tolerance is the first step to making a difference.

That is the difficulty. As more aspects of our lives are lived and influenced through social media and online, my fear is we will become desensitised to the struggling mums, knackered joggers and the homeless people.

Here is my challenge to the people who reside in the beautiful city we call our home.

Try one random act of kindness per day for a whole month.

Smile at a stranger, hold open a door, playdate for a kid with a stressed-out mum, maybe donate some clothing or household items to charity.

Spare time? Have you thought about volunteering?

Challenge yourself to do it for a month and see the benefits it brings.

If you tweet let me know what you have done @sandwich2caviar use #RandomActSheffield

Let’s make Sheffield the City of Tolerance.