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.
Kindness in the newspaper
I love to read letters to the editor. This week, someone wrote in to thank fellow bicyclists for attending to her after she took a spill on the bike trail. Such good Samaritans. And, so kind of the woman to publically thank them by writing to the newspaper. Plus, the kindness spread to all the readers. We all appreciate a bit of good news.
Kindness in the parking lot
Okay, I’m tooting my own horn on this one. Saturday, we celebrated (again) Wrestler #1’s birthday by having dinner at his restaurant of choice. As we approached our car, we heard and disheartening, yet familiar, click-a-click-a-click. You know, that sound the ignition makes when the battery is dead.
I knocked on the window.
“Do you need help?”
“You heard that?”
“Yeah, sounds like you need a jump,” I said. “I have jumper cables.”
“Really? You’d do that for us?”
CeCe explained that once his car got jumped, he should be okay unless it was the alternator. If it was the alternator, he’d need to get a repairman involved.
I got to wondering how many people still carry jumper cables. Times gone by, it was quite common. It was quite common to help a stranded motorist. I don’t think that’s the case anymore. We assume people have cell phones. Sometimes we’re afraid to help, and sometimes we’re afraid to be helped.
Kindness of reaching out
This one is almost too good to believe.
Winston Davis tracked down a 16-year-old who mugged his 12-year-old nephew. Instead of turning the youth in to the police, he took matters into his own hands. Winston talked to the perpetrator and discovered the circumstances behind the theft.
Winston put the word out through his networks. As a result all sorts of job offers and other types of help began pouring in for the poor boy who had no parents, no job, and no education.
“I can see in this young man there’s something in him that wants to go on and do good. It’s just, can he see far enough into the future? To be able to take advantage of the good nature and goodwill of so many people?”Good News Network
“Sometimes children are so traumatized from what they’ve been through as young children that it’s really hard for them to have any connection or belief that they can do anything other than what they’ve been exposed to at such a young age.”
Wow! A wonderful act of kindness that generated more acts of kindness.
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.