Inspirational Breakfast's Rosie Wright is not giving up chocolate for Lent. She's not giving up snacks, crisps or TV either! This year she's taking part in a challenge. “40 Acts” – from the charity Stewardship. They’ve got an army of 100,000 generosity activists all over the country who have all signed up to do a daily act of kindness over Lent. The aim? To create waves of generosity with acts of kindness. It’s about turning the idea of fasting for 40 days on its head; taking up generosity – not giving things up. Follow Rosie's journey here.
Act 32 – Anon
This was hard! To be generous and not tell anyone about your giving (which is a brilliant way to give, but harder when you are broadcasting what you’re up to!) Have a listen to some other peoples experiences of others anonymous generosity.
Act 31 – Beeline
As someone who loves to talk, this was too easy. The challenge was to talk to strangers. Well I do that almost every day for my 40 acts challenges – so I took it one step further and tried to learn some phrases in different languages.
Act 30 – Margins
Who is on the margins in our society? Those who are homeless, who are suffering from illness or stigma? This was an uncomfortable look at my comfortable life.
Act 29 – BOGOF
I’m always enticed into a “buy one get one free offer”. But today was buy one GIVE one free. And honestly… I failed today – it’s a long story but I went to circuits and that literally knocked me out for the day. But I asked a friend if they could do it on my behalf.
Act 28 – Show and Tell
What skills do you have that you could share? It might be the skill of talking, sharing, singing or running. Whatever it is, today was the day to share it out. What did I do? I taught a friend how to patch trousers. Don’t laugh! Its saved me buying a new pair countless times.
Act 26 – Bake off
We’re all in one of three categories. Those who love eating cake. Those who like making cake. (And those who are both!). Today I struggled for some reason to give away 12 cup cakes. A few people totally refused. Where are all the cake lovers?
Act 25 – Word up
This act was less easy for me. I’ve grown up memorising bible verses at church and summer school. But today we were encouraged to share our favourite (or even post it on social media). Have a listen to three peoples favourite verses.
Act 24 – Stand
The number of causes you can lend your voices to are countless. Homelessness, poverty, hunger, charities that support the persecuted church, those that are helping with the refugee crisis. Today was about making noise for the causes close to your heart.
Act 23 – Last Rolo
John always Jokes that half of these acts are to do with food. But today wasn’t just about rolos. It’s about really looking hard and the things we have – and potentially saying. You know what – I’ll give someone something really special that I own to someone else.
Act 20 – Beam
We know the poem. Smiling is contagious. Well whatever you think of your smile; If you’re a shy smile-r or a full blown beamer today was about getting those grins out and sharing your smile.
Act 19 - Daily Grind
My day starts with a 4.30 alarm (owch I know!). I get the bus to the tube station, get on the first tube of the day and come in to do the breakfast show. I do this EVERY day – and when do I stop to talk to anyone? I don’t! Today is about saying thank you to those who are on the daily grind just like you.
Act 18 – Fair Enough
This was a huge learning curve for me. I thought I bought ethically. But when I had to name which fair trade products I bought – I could name four. Chocolate, bananas, tea and coffee. Fair trade sell over 4500 different products from flowers to gold! I checked out some local supermarkets to see how obvious Fair trade was down the isles.
Act 17 – “Propose”
Phew. I needed this. Because it’s a leap year (and Feb the 29th is technically an extra day) it was an opportunity to catch up or repeat any acts that needed doing a bit better (of could be repeated). Have a listen to a summary of the highlights so far of my 40 acts journey.
Act 14 - Acknowledge
Whatever side of the nature v nurture debate you fall on – it’s clear that the people around us have a huge impact on our lives. Today was about acknowledging some of those unsung heroes from our past. Be that a teacher, friend or fellow girl guide/scout. It’s about saying thank you to someone who was a blast from your past.
Act 13 – Second fiddle
Have you ever heard the phrase “Shotgun!”. It’s shouted out if someone wants to get in their first – like if you wanted to sit in the front seat of the car. My mum always had a rule “shotgun doesn’t exist in our family!” and growing up as the eldest of four girls – I wasn’t allowed to use the trump card “I’m the oldest” to insist I went first. Today is about taking a step back – and going second.
Act 12 – Chocolate Tuesday
Today. Was. Brilliant. Brilliant for anyone who hasn’t decided to give up chocolate for Lent. The name says it all. It was about giving away that sweet treat to anyone and everyone! So I headed out to fill a bag full of chocolate to hide around the office, with a little note attached saying “40 acts”.
Act 11 – Love
Today was harder than some of the other acts. It was about showing people love! Love can be hard to express! I got caught up in rush hour on my commute home on the tube (my carriage resembled a sardine tin) and managed to bite my tongue and be kind to a lady who was exceptionally pushy. Sometimes, people can take their bad day out on those around them. I smiled at her and I think that helped. It was small but I think made an impact!
Act 8 – Dirty Money
It’s hard to talk about money and today I asked some uncomfortable questions about giving. Giving is personal and can be private – today was about really thinking about my giving attitude (if that’s financially or giving in other ways – like volunteering).
Act 7 – All ears
How often do we actually take the time to listen to one another rather than focus on what we want to say? I often struggle to stop talking and leave room for others in the conversation. Today gave me the opportunity to really invest in a friend.
Act 6 - Cupboard love
What’s in your wardrobe? Well mine is full. Completely full. Today is about clearing through your hoard and giving more of what we have – that actually someone else could do with more!
Act 5 - Quiche
We bond over cooking, sharing and eating food. It’s often said that the dinner table is the heart of every family.
Act 3 - "Roots"
Today the advice is based on the idea that we can live or work somewhere for decades and never really put our roots down there. Now bear with me listening to this clip – I decided to say hello to everyone I walked past on my way to the super market and it provides some cringe listening…!
Act 2 - No Scrubs
I’m not sure that cleaning is the top of anyone’s priority list of things to do when they get home from work, but today’s act is about putting the rubber gloves on and scrubbing. I ventured out in my lunch break at work hoping to do a litter pick. I hadn’t noticed until that point just how clean the pavements are here – this called for a rethink for how I could tick off today's act.
Act 1 - Circles
I interact with so many people each day - commuting on the tube, at work, at home, with my family and friends. But how much do we value, nurture and develop these relationships? Today is about reconnecting with those disparate groups and keeping a note of who all our “circles of friends” are.