If I counted correctly, somewhere along the line, I missed two weeks. Yes, 2022 ends in just 9 more Mondays. I am buoyed by all the kind comments I receive for these simple Monday posts. Thank you, kind readers.
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, even when I’m not the direct recipient of the act.
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. Sometimes big acts of kindness astound us. Today, I’m sharing a little of each.
Kindness for someone all alone.
I admit, I forgot to mention this great big, little act of kindness last year. My sister-in-law, Joan, had a dear friend who had some level of mental impairment. He traveled from the neighboring state, by bus, to be at the funeral. He sat alone and nibbled on a sandwich, waiting for the funeral service to begin. CoCo saw Alvin’s aloneness and sat with him. “I’m sorry for your loss,” she said and waited for him to speak. Then she listened. Just listened to Alvin remind CoCo about his relationship with Joan, how he got there, and his sadness.
This may seem like a little thing, but for CoCo, it’s big. On big thing I’ve learned about people with mental impairments: learning is a complex process. Many things that seem second nature, must be taught. Things like personal space, or knowing when to listen, or when to wait. CoCo so impressed me with her compassion.
Kindness of a disabled woman
Zahida Qureshi became paralyzed when she was a child after a bout of polio. She learned to get around by crawling, but never had a wheelchair until she entered college. That’s when she began to make it her life’s mission to help differently-abled people. She’s 41 now, but when she was still in her 20s, she helped form the Society for Special Persons (SSP), a nonprofit dedicated to providing people with disabilities with social, economic, and educational opportunities. The society helps people learn a trade, find a job, and provide social support.
One of SSP’s projects provides wheelchairs. But, not just providing them. SSP teaches people to build and repair wheelchairs, too.
Each chair is built to order based on its user’s weight, gender, and specific disability. Some chairs feature intricate designs and bright colors, and all are built by people who themselves have a disability. In the first half of 2022 alone, SSP produced over 500 wheelchairs. “We receive almost 200 requests weekly,” Qureshi told The Guardian.Nice News
Kindness from a classmate
A teacher’s Facebook post went viral after he found out what one of his students did.
Romello (Mello) Early couldn’t abide the bullying of his 7th grade classmate Melvin Anderson. So he decided he’d use his savings to buy Melvin some new shoes. He even offered to give up one of his Christmas presents to make it happen. Read more about Mello’s act of kindness here.
I think it’s a shame that kids can get bullied because they have worn clothes. I grew up at a time when lots of kids wore hand-me-downs. Worn shoes and ragged jacket cuffs, too-short pants, or clothes with room to grow seemed to be the norm. I’m so happy Mello took action to alleviate his classmates pain.
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.