2022 RAK Week #28

a young boy holding a purple flag Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

My family began practicing Random Acts of Kindness way back when my kids were teens. Now they have teens. This year, I decided to make RAKs my focus. With a twist.

CoCo received a beautiful Act of Kindness this year. The train conductor on her short commute surprised her with a generous Christmas Gift. She smiled for weeks with wonderment and told everyone she knew about the conductor’s kindness. However, I initially responded with suspicion. After a bit of reflection, I remembered an observation I got from a friend.

You are a much better giver than a receiver. It takes some humbleness to receive without the intention of paying back.

My dear friend, Nancy S (circa, 1980)

So with that in mind, I am devoting 2022 to recognizing kindness given. I noticed a change in myself. My effort to recognize the kindness of others helps me remember to be kind, too. I’m benefitting from the kindness of others. Now that I think about it, so are others.

I hope you missed me last week. I visited Mom in Michigan. We had a blast. First, we had the 2nd Annual Magpie Madness. My grandparents called us kids The Magpies because, you know, nine kids, all with plenty to say, make as much noise as a flock of magpies.

Heckle & Jeckle: a couple of Hanna Barbara magpies

The Kindness of strangers

Have you ever been in unfamiliar territory and wondered where to eat? Google and Siri can only get me so far. After two dead-ends, I decided to ask a stranger.

“Do you like BBQ?” she asked.

Of course we do.

“The Mission has the best BBQ pork. Usually, they have greens, but they’re out of season now. But, the corn on the cob is good.”

We got instructions and thanked her for her kindness.

“As long as you’re not looking for fine-dining,” the kind stranger offered before we got in our car.

What a kind afterthought! We definitely weren’t dressed for fine dining. The BBQ was the best I ever had and the corn was delish. And, I’m a corn-on-the-cob snob of sorts.

The kindness of young people

This one isn’t my observation, but Mom’s.

The week before I got there, Mom and my brother went to a local rodeo. Midway through the rodeo, it began to pour down rain. The people in front of Mom pulled out great big golf umbrellas. Now, not only was she getting wet, but she couldn’t see. (Definitely thoughtless, if not unkind.) She moved back to get some sort of view. In spite of the rain, the day remained warm, so she stayed. From out of nowhere came two young women with a waterproof blanket. They sat on either side of Mom, keeping her covered and exposing themselves to the rain. Mom did not know these two kind angels.

The kindness of shared Happiness

This week, I’m passing on a resource I found on “How to build a [happy] life”. I found an article in The Atlantic called, “Three Biggest Happiness Rules.” It was the 100th happiness article by Arthur C. Brooks. Oh my, what a delight. And he has a podcast, too.

 “How to Build a Life” launched on April 9, 2020, as an experiment: Could we reframe the misery and loneliness of the coronavirus pandemic’s early days as an opportunity to think more about well-being? The experiment is still going strong: This column is my 100th.

Arthur C. Brooks

Maxim 1: Mother Nature doesn’t care if you are happy.

Maxim 2: Lasting happiness comes from habits, not hacks.

Maxim 3: Happiness is love.

Please follow the links and read more about each Maxim. I hope you enjoy this bit of happiness. I plan to listen to the podcast just to keep myself smiling.

What acts of kindness did you observe this week?

The official Random Act of Kindness Day is February 17. But RAKing can go on all year long. Visit the Website here. “The work to create a kinder world never ends. There is no limit on the amount of goodness we can put into the world..”

Use the hashtags #MakeKindnessTheNorm #RAKday #RandomActsofKindnessDay. Most importantly, “In a world where you can be anything…Be kind.” (And be willing to receive the kindness offered.)

I’ll be watching through my rose-colored glasses for opportunities to give a RAK. And I’ll have my antennae up ready to recognize when I get a RAK or see one.