Recently, I was at a friend’s house, gazing at all the fun things posted on her fridge. The items ranged from pictures of her and her dog to upcoming events she didn’t want to forget to a magazine clipping of her favorite singer. Then my eyes came across a list that read “Random Acts of Kindness” with numbers down the page that stopped at 26. The first four had been filled in – I’m guessing with acts already fulfilled. These included things like leaving a roll of quarters in the laundry room and handing a Starbucks gift card to a homeless person.
My heart was suddenly filled with nothing but warmth and inspiration. I was not sure if it was a monthly or yearly list. I didn’t dare say anything or ask about it; instead, I decided to draw upon it for inspiration and create my own list. It’s easy to get lost in the hardships of the economy and the busyness of our lives. Surely, we can find a few small things – random acts of kindness – to brighten the mood of others and spread good will. In attempting to create my list and plan, I came across an entire website and an organization called The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. The website, www.randomactsofkindness.org, offered up a ton of ideas. Here are a few more to hopefully inspire you to…well…give a little bit in 2013…and it doesn’t have to be money.
Random Acts of Kindness Ideas
- Remember all those adults that made a difference in your life when you were little? Become a mentor, become a Big Brother or a Big Sister, become a reading tutor – help a child.
- Donate used books to a library. While you’re at it, donate old clothes and furniture to a charity of your choice.
- You don’t have to be a knight to prove that chivalry isn’t dead by holding open a door for someone or allowing someone to cut in front of you in line. See someone with their hands full? Help them inside with their groceries or heavy items.
- Next time you are walking or driving past that fire station, stop to pop in and tell them how much you appreciate them for keeping everyone safe. You’d be surprised how much an unexpected “Thank You” can mean to someone. Embarrassed? Write a thank you letter instead.
- We are all in a hurry, but come on….return that shopping cart to the right area instead of an empty parking spot. It’ll save a lot of frustration for other drivers as well as the folks who have to fetch them.
- Send flowers to someone you normally wouldn’t…or even a stranger, bring back a souvenir for a friend, invite an acquaintance over for dinner, pay the tab for the couple sitting across the room at the restaurant.
- Into quilting? Make one for a homeless shelter. Donate those blankets in the closet you never use to a homeless shelter. Make a care package for a homeless person. Make dinner for a homeless person.
- Is it raining? See that person walking down the street that forgot their umbrella today? Give yours or offer to walk with them under the shelter of yours to their destination.
- Compliment your partner’s eyes, your co-worker’s job well done, your bank teller’s pleasant demeanor, your doctor’s bedside manner, your daughter’s existence, your UPS delivery person’s promptness, a stranger’s cool shirt.
- Leave a “have a nice day” note on someone’s car or 10 cars in the grocery store parking lot, make cookies for someone, drop $10 on the floor somewhere on purpose – it’s always fun finding money. Better yet, leave a 50% tip for the server next time you eat out.
The point is to be kind, spread kindness and don’t make it a chore…have fun doing it. Now get crackin’; there are only 11 months left to 2013, how many random acts of kindness are you going to plop into this year?
Information taken from: www.randomactsofkindness.org
Research & Community Education