Here is a trick question: what do the 17th and the 14th of February have in common. In the middle of February we are hoping that the winter-gloom will soon be replaced by the beginning of spring, and we look for signs of this in the lengthening of days and snowdrops being replaced by daffodils. But to cheer us up even more there are these two unusual celebrations: celebrated on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year. It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations, nationwide, to encourage acts of kindness. It is a favourite day to many, as people everywhere are enjoying doing these acts of kindness. But before that something perhaps equally heart-warming and slightly more long standing: 14 February is St Valentine’s Day, here the act of kindness is anything but random, it is a focused gesture towards the one we love, traditionally anonymous so that we keep the target guessing who it is that sent them a token of their love. This year the 14th of February has an additional focus for Christians, it is Ash Wednesday, an opportunity to review our lives and perhaps to change harmful behaviour or to introduce an aspect of fasting for 40 days in preparation for the great festival of Easter. Taken in their totality these three occasions might help us to become less focussed on ourselves and to become more aware of the needs of those around us.