Values are taught to us by those we look up to and those that bring us up.
There’s something about the British psyche that loves a queue, a moan and a good old tut. It can be brought on by anything.
The most minor of incidents can bring out the Victor Meldrew in us all. I turned 40 last August. People say: "Oh, yeah, but 40 is the new 30 right?" Those people are clearly not 40.
That’s like saying to someone who’s broke: "Yeah, but the best things in life are free, like cuddles."
Yes, but you try going to your bank manger to pay with cuddles as currency.
I found myself getting more and more wound up by really minor things. I even told a queue in a coffee shop to eff-off out loud. Just because it was there.
How important or busy am I that I can’t wait three minutes? As I enter the second half of my life, I wanted to stop myself from worrying about things that I can’t control and things that I can’t affect.
I started to think about what I could do to make a difference to the quality of other people’s lives.
I know this sounds a bit egocentric, but I am lucky that my job brings other people joy. Literally. I’m professional stand up comedian, I make people laugh for a living. But, all of a sudden I felt it wasn’t enough. Of course it isn’t.
Six years ago in January, I lost my mum. One of her passions for the last seven years of her life was making shoeboxes full of presents for Samaritans Purse appeal.
She took real pride in them and made them all herself. Shopped for them, wrapped them and carefully thought about what the child receiving them would want.
Most people would donate one, two or possibly three boxes a year. At her last attempt she made 100. All by hand. She handed them over on December 21 2008 and then, one a week later, she passed away.
My mum’s raison d'etre was to make other people happy. So do something nice for someone else today. No matter how small, just do something kind for either someone you know or a stranger.
On January 2 2015, I went to my local supermarket. I did a bit of shopping then sat behind the tills.
I wanted to do something in honor of my mum, but more importantly, do something for someone else. I found a postman who had a trolley full of shopping, which had a lot of nappies in it.
When he got to the conveyer belt, he told the shop assistant exactly how much it was going to cost. She zapped it through and just as he was about to pay, I swooped in and paid it for him.
I explained why and told him to do something for someone else. That’s all. I walked away, he looked dumb founded.
It gave me more adrenaline than any moment in my 40 years of life.
Thanks Mum. I'm going to do something on January 2 every year and call it 'Happy Gill Day'.
Maff Brown is a professional comedian and founder of Outside The Box comedy club.