This seems to be the time of the year when kindness abounds. I see it everywhere, from the giving trees to Toys for Tots, to the Salvation Army bell-ringers braving the cold.
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. Today, I’m sharing little acts of kindness that gave me comfort this week.
Kindness during grief
My friend Carol Cassara nurtures people through the grieving process. This is the time of year when grieving can be particularly painful. It’s tough to be burdened with sadness and loss when the world seems to be joyous. Carol gives us a simple act of kindness by offering her tools at a deep discount. I ordered some cards for my friend Crystal. She just lost her stepfather and it’s only been seven months since her mother left this world. If you know someone who’s grieving, check out what Carol has to offer here.
Kindness of churchgoers
This is a rather simple thing, but aren’t most acts of kindness simple things? The church I go to designated December as “Name Tag Sunday.” We all wear nametags and before service begins in earnest, we spend some time introducing ourselves to someone we don’t know. Or in my case, I’ve seen them many times, but never introduced myself. The church was abuzz with people getting to know each other, or maybe implying connecting a face with a name. I feel warm inside just recounting the experience.
I got a chance to give a tiny act of kindness, too. After being asked to take the gifts to the altar, I deferred to an elderly birthday-woman. She really wanted to do it, and it was so easy to give her that simple bit of joy.
Kindness of an unborn twin.
This story is almost unbelievable. At 31 weeks into the pregnancy, baby Poppy, began to have an erratic heartbeat. The bigger twin, Winnie, seemed fine, but doctors decided they should deliver the babies for the sake of Poppy. Poppy weighed in at just over a pound, while Winnie was about three pounds. Even though she was smaller, Poppy was perfectly healthy. It was Winnie who struggled with underdeveloped lungs.
“Even now Poppy takes care of Winnie, though she is still much smaller,” said her 28-year-old mom.
“Doctors said she was feisty, but she was smaller than a little elf on the shelf.”
Now both twins have nothing wrong with them, and they’re the best of friends and thriving.Good News Network
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.