How did we get started?
The original idea for One Small Deed came from an overall unhappiness with the way people in London seemed to get on with their daily lives, completely oblivious to those other funny human beings around them. We started to get quite morose and downtrodden, thinking about how sad it was that people never smiled or were friendly to their neighbours (that is, if they even knew them) and how we had become a completely materialistic "me-centric" place and that we seemed to have lost the ability to be kind to strangers. So, instead of just whinging to our mates about it, we started to think of ways to make a difference and the idea for One Small Deed was born
Of course, there are lots of great ideas, but we wondered if this would work, so we set about integrating this philosophy into our everyday lives. In the same way as you would set any other daily goal or task: the one small deed you plan to do is just another task on your list. It's so easy that we found ourselves doing lots of deeds every day! The people we helped felt great and we felt great in helping people. Altogether we thought that this philosophy had legs, so here we are
Who are we?
We're nice people who want to make a difference. We are not affiliated with any charity, organisation or group. We live in London and come from different countries, cultures and walks of life, but the one thing we have in common is the fact that we are kind and giving people who want to see more people like us out there bringing the One Small Deed philosophy to life. We are all professional people who lead busy lives and have all of the stresses of life in the big smoke, but still manage to have time to give back. Life is certainly what you make it and we have chosen to make our lives more valuable by creating One Small Deed.
Do we really think we can change the world?
Well, yes and no. Yes, in the fact that we can get likeminded people to put our ideas into practice, which will invariably make people's days brighter and No, in the fact that we know that there are nasty elements of human nature that we can't change. BUT, we do believe that if more people were to take a little more time to care about their fellow human beings, it will make the world significantly happier than it is now.
What kinds of deeds can you do?
The deeds do not have to be grand. In order for people to be able to incorporate our ideas into their everyday lives, the deeds must be simple.
- Here are some of the first deeds that we did:
- Donated some home cooked food to a homeless shelter that likes to keep its freezer well stocked
- Helped find a plumber for an elderly neighbour whose boiler broke in the middle of the night
- Helped a rather flustered and not very IT savvy friend install their ADSL
- When a woman with two kids and an empty petrol can asked where the nearest petrol station was, we drove them to it, got the petrol and drove them back to their car
- Opened the door for a man struggling with his cane
- Helped a young child who was lost in a mall find her mother
- Gave some fresh fruit to a homeless man
How often should you do kind deeds?
Ideally, every day, but realistically, as often as you can. We are trying to get people to live our philosophy, and it may not be realistic for you to do something every day, but what we are trying to achieve is a heightened sense of awareness where doing small deeds is part of your everyday life and it comes naturally.
What makes us different from other websites encouraging people to do good things?
When we came up with our idea, we did ask around and surfed a lot on the internet. We didn't find anything exactly like One Small Deed, but we did find other websites, mostly charities and these are the main areas in which we differ:
- We are not a charity or fundraising body
- We do not have pre-set deeds or pledges for people to choose from. Our users can write whatever they want as long as it isn't unlawful or offensive!
- Our focus is quite narrow, in that our deeds are acts of kindness from one human being to another. Although we love our planet, are concerned about world hunger, child abuse, genocide and all of the other horrible things going on in the world today, there are lots of great websites dedicated to such matters, so we are sticking with our simple idea.
- We are not asking for people to spend money, just time
- We are only asking people to do small deeds that take a small amount of time. Instead of a few people doing grand gestures, we want lots of people to do small acts of kindness to make someone else's day better.
What are our plans for the future?
We want to continue to make our website fun and easy to use, so have thought of some future features to facilitate this, such as:
- Allowing you to add your deeds via email or SMS
- Creating applications for other websites, such as Facebook, so your friends can see your deeds there if you wish
- Creating widgets or gadgets so that you can view deeds without having to access the website
Of course, if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you.