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. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holiday Kindness lasted all year?
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 of family
Last week Miss P told me that all she wanted was a Mort and Marty birthday cake for her birthday. I traveled over the weekend, so getting that birthday cake finished and to her was a bit of a challenge.
She and her dad texted me right away to say thank you and to gush about how wonderful it was. Well, it wasn’t all that wonderful. And I really had a great time making it. Their “did you do that free-hand;” “It was perfect;” “Just what I wanted,” really made my day. More than a simple thank you, they made me feel like an artist. By the way, cake decorating is such a forgiving art. Just scrape it off and start again.
Kindness of drivers
At this time of the year, people are bustling to get to the next party, the next sale, the next pageant, the next celebration. So, it’s heartwarming when someone stops for a moment to open a door, to ask if I need any help, to smile and say ‘good morning.’ Those are the things I experienced on my last road trip to visit mom.
Kindness of a stranger.
We never know what will happen with our act of kindness. Maybe it will go unnoticed. Maybe it will brighten someone’s day. Maybe it will change the course of the world. Most of the time, we will never know.
Barnet Yudin knew he was doing the right thing when he agreed to sign papers to help the Penziases, a Jewish family fleeing Nazi Germany, immigrate to America. What he didn’t know was that Arno Penzias, just 6 years old at the time, would go on to shape the future of science.Nice News
The Penzias family had an affidavit that they had a cousin in New York, but they needed someone to gaurantee for their financial support. The friend couldn’t support them on his waiter’s wage, so he went door to door asking for volunteers.
Yudin, 52 at the time, was himself an immigrant, coming to the States in 1906 and working his way up from selling paint out of a pushcart to owning his own store. When Yudin heard the man’s appeal — and saw the black-and-white photo he was carrying that showed Karl and Justine holding their young children — he knew he had to help. He signed the affidavit, making it possible for the family to eventually settle in the Bronx, a borough of New York City.NiceNews.com
Arno Penzias grew up to earn a doctorate in physics, served in the Army, and worked at Bell research lab. There, he and his lab partner made a discovery that earned them the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics.
It wasn’t until Arno’s son, David, found the papers signed by Yudin that either family knew about Yudin’s act of kindness. By that time, Yudin had passed away. Without Yudin anonymous act of kindness, we may not know as much about the scientific beginnings of our universe. You see, Arno and his partner’s discovery confirmed the Big Bang Theory.
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 have one more week of 2022 to watch through my rose-colored glasses for opportunities to give a RAK and report back to you. And I’ll have my antennae up ready to recognize when I get a RAK or see one.