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 of a teenager
I’ve become quite accustomed to the sullenness and angst of teenagers. I suppose I was one, because I can remember Mom saying, “You’re so bullheaded,” and me thinking, you’re the most bullheaded person I know. (Believe me, I was wise enough to only think it!).
Imagine my surprise when Miss P asked me, “Do you want to see what I’ve done with my room?”
Of course, I did.
There was the crocheted throw I made for her, front and center, the focal point of the room. How kind. We talked for several minutes ending with a deep hug. That kindness still carries me.
Kindness at a cross-country race
Mr. C’s in cross-country. The parents and many grandparents come to cheer on the 5th-8th grade boys and girls running their hearts out. This week, two grandparents came in wheelchairs. They parked on the sidewalk near the finish chute. Just like Moses parting the Red Sea, the crowd parted like Moses parting the Red Sea, making two little passageways so the grandparents could see the finish line.
It really warms my heart to see people so aware of each other’s needs.
Some Nice News about Kindness
A new study shows that even small acts of kindness have a significant impact on people, even when the gives don’t realize it. People underestimate the positive power of compliments, too. Sometimes so much that they overlook opportunities to be kind, thinking that it doesn’t make a difference.
Reading this was like a little unconscious act of kindness, affirming what I already knew.
“Performing random acts of kindness increases happiness in both givers and receivers, but we find that givers systematically undervalue their positive impact on recipients. … those performing a random act of kindness consistently underestimated how positive their recipients would feel, thinking their act was of less value than recipients perceived it to be,” the study authors explained.Nice News
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.