2022 RAK Week #42

This is election week. If you’re like me, anything that buffers me from the barrage of political ads is a kindness. So whoever invented DVRs, thank you from the bottom of my already-voted-by-mail heart.

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 of a great-grandchild.

This one totally melted my heart for two reasons.

  • A kindergartener shared his Halloween loot with his great-grandmother. He remembered that Busia loved a certain kind of candy and he saved it for her.
  • The recipient of this kindness is the very person who taught me to be kind.

I love witnessing kindness. Kindness from a child is particularly delightful. And, seeing roots of kindness sink deep into the fourth generation, puts a lump in my throat.

Thank you Mom, for planning the seeds.

Kindness of a retired broadcaster.

Should I count a kindness that Dan Rather included in his newsletter, even if he never realizes the impact? Maybe he didn’t even intend to be kind? Does that still count? Perhaps that just might be as random as an act of kindness can get.

By the way, if you’d like to read Dan Rather’s essays, click here. I love his measured, thoughtful approach.

Kindness of a homeless man

Oh my, another lump in my throat.

A Chicago woman had her flat tire changed by a homeless person. Dressed in high heels, already late for an important dinner, the woman discovered her flat tire. A polite homeless man helped her change it. The woman’s Reddit post elicited 86,000 thumbs-ups and many, many comments from people with similar experiences. One comment read, “a solid chance the dude didn’t even expect anything. Humans love feeling useful and it’s really really hard to feel anything but worthless when you’re homeless.”

This made me think of my homeless friend, Bobby, who I met when I was commuting into Chicago. I looked forward to meeting him every morning and sharing some breakfast or a cup of cocoa. He was such a positive fellow. I still look for him when I’m in the city.

person giving alms to the poor
Photo by Timur Weber on Pexels.com

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.