Yes, I skipped a week! Last week I went on my annual camping trip with Loved-One, Coco, and CeCe and her kids. I came home exhausted, relaxed, and invigorated. If I always had to walk a quarter mile to the bathroom, I bet I wouldn’t need to think about my weight. Those kettle moraine hills are much lovelier through a car window than trudging to the bathroom at 3 AM.
My family began practicing Random Acts of Kindness when my kids were teens. Now they have teens of their own. 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.
Sometimes a little act of kindness, a smile, or a word of recognition can make a big difference in someone’s life. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are being kind with our automatic response to someone. This week’s recognized kindnesses are like that: People being kind effortlessly.
The Kindness of teenagers
This year’s camping trip carried a bit of stress with it. CeCe had deadlines to meet. She’s studying for her Education MS. Internet access is always spotting when we’re camping. Still, losing a 600-word essay when coverage drops is enough to make even the coolest and most collected among us pull her hair out. On top of that, CeCe looked forward to meeting her group of at-risk kindergarteners the day after returning from school.
Without a single nudge, CeCe’s teens fixed her a plate of dinner and made sure she had everything she needed as she perched on the tailgate of her Explorer typing away, recreating her paper and praying her connection held. It did. The teens carried on, never missing a beat, cuz families help each other. It’s a simple as that.
The kindness of a young woman
I keep a Note of kindnesses I observe. This one goes back a bit.
Miss E noticed a mother sitting alone at a volleyball game. Miss E got up from our family and sat with the lone mother. “She might want some company,” observed Miss E. How kind!
The kindness of a substitute
This week, Lynette led our choir. After church, we chatted; it had been a while since we’ve seen each other. She will be the choir leader for the next couple of weeks.
“Will you be playing with me?” Lynette asked. “I always enjoy your flute.”
I’m sure she has no idea how much her affirmations meant to me. I really feel appreciated. And of course, I’ll be there.
I hope the little things I observed this week will make you realize all the kindnesses you dole out without even noticing. Sometimes that makes the action even more amazing: unconsciously brightening someone’s day. What a gift!
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.