The highlight of my week was our trip with Mr. K and Miss A to the Museum of Science and Industry. Was it the Lego exhibit? Was it learning a new train line? Was it all the walking? or Was it meeting a couple from Pennsylvania? I’m not sure which I liked best, but it all added up to a super-spectacular day and a week filled with kindness. Nevermind that CeCe called the next morning to tell us Miss A tested positive for Covid-19. Drat! (Well, it’s been four days and so far we are both symptom-free.)
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 at the beginning of the 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 bicyclists
Loved-One and I ventured off on a trail we hadn’t traversed before. Everyone along the way said “Good Morning,” “Hello,” or some other polite greeting. It’s a little thing, yet, it’s proof that courtesy is the lubricant of society. When confronted with a fork in the path, Loved-One pedaled ahead to scout out the best route while I waited. A couple stopped to make sure I was okay. (I probably did look a little lost, straddling my bicycle and pondering the paths.
“Is everything okay?”
“Yes, I’m just wondering which way to go.”
“This way is a lovely ride along the river. Plus, there’s a bathroom up ahead.”
Why thank you. So kind of you to stop and check on me. And even kinder to offer advice. It was a lovely ride. And when we stopped at the park, two more bicyclists took the time to chat with us.
The kindness of grandchildren
Saturday we planned to celebrate Mr. L’s birthday. I had his brownie tower made, presents wrapped, and cookies packed for college. Of course I told Wrestler #2 that we’d been exposed. Of course he didn’t want to take the risk of getting together. School’s starting this week for everyone, including Wrestler #2 and wifey. Who wants to start the school year with an illness?
So we met half-way, in a parking lot and dropped the goods. Miss G and Mr. L came along. We had a breezy, masked visit in the parking lot at a good six-foot distance. It may not seem like such a kindness. Still, when I think of all the things all of them have to do to get ready for school and to get to campus: Yes, it was kind of them to take the time out of their day.
The kindness a technician
“About ten years ago, a little boy asked me to draw a happy face on his cast. I told him, ‘You know what, I’m really not good at drawing. I’d rather not. I might mess it up,'” [Luis] Ruiz tells PEOPLE.
The boy continued to insist on a smiley face, so Ruiz agreed. The little boy was ecstatic with the results.https://people.com/human-interest/california-hospital-tech-creates-art-on-kid-casts/
That moment of joy inspired Ruiz to offer cast drawings to all the kids who came into the hospital with broken bones.
“I was not very good,” Ruiz says. “But as time went by, little by little, I got better and better, to a point where now I can almost do anything they ask for.”
Ruiz started his cast art career using permanent markers but now uses oil-based paint pens, which he found work better on a cast’s rough material.
Here’s just a few of the wonderful pictures Luis created.
I really wanted to highlight this act of kindness because it means incorporating kindness into the workday. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember to interject kindness whenour minds are busy and we are working against time. What a beautiful way to bring joy into the world.
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.