There is a blog roaming around out there that refers to “134 Random Acts of Kindness.” I read it a couple of weeks ago and it has been bugging me ever since. Please understand, I Believe in Random Acts, I even try to practice them, I just was disappointed with what one writer thought qualified as kindness.
Random Acts of Kindness should be things that you don’t do every day, that aren’t part of the larger world of common courtesy. My mother always taught the Golden Rule…you remember, do unto others as you would have done unto you. So when someone claims that allowing traffic to merge is a Kindness, I think, Really??? Isn’t that just what you do?
Here were some of the ideas that I struggled with…not because they are bad ideas, but because I thought this is how we all acted:
Hold your tongue
Meet your neighbors
Let it go
Don’t be annoying
Don’t keep others waiting on you
Respect your partner
Be on time
Do you see what I’m saying here? These are things my mama taught me to do in polite society, they had nothing to do with being kind, it was just how it was done. This is stuff we should all be doing daily, not just when we are trying to be extra good.
The holiday season is a great time to go that extra mile, in fact, you probably did. We are reminded daily during the holidays to do good for others, but what happens now? What happens when winter is upon us, the bills from the holidays show up, we are just a little stressed because there isn’t another free day off from our world for months. What happens when tempers get short, attention wanes, maybe now is when we really should be practicing those Random Acts, maybe now is when we need it most? Maybe now we need to continue doing good things…so where do you start?
There are websites dedicated to just this idea, research them, even the lame ones have great ideas (just Google search “Random Acts of Kindness” for 6,830,000 results)…but before you do, consider what makes you smile, what thoughtful things you appreciate. Is it the couple with a basket full of groceries that lets you step in line in front of them with just your toothpaste to purchase? Is it the guy in the coffee line at your favorite espresso shop who paid for yours too? Is it when someone holds the door for you when you have your hands full? Did your heart glow when you saw the Giving Tree at your local bank or retail store at Christmas? Remember there are needy all year long. The Boy Scouts and Post Office collect canned goods, but could you not wait, go down to the local Food Bank with a donation yourself, perhaps just by cleaning out your cupboards?
Random Acts of Kindness don’t have to cost money, but they should cost you something…your time, your talent, your spare change. Invest in this, even if just with your smile.