Today is Random Act of Kindness day. Of course, we shouldn’t need a reminder to practice random acts of kindness – but somehow we do; at least I know I do. My Mom always told me that practicing kindness was something to do for one’s self, not for others. She told me it would make me feel good to be kind, that really it is a selfish thing to do. As always, she is correct. Nothing makes me feel quite as good as knowing that I was kind to someone just because. Not because I will or want to get something in return. Just because I want to be, and because I can be. Here are some random acts of kindness I think of, and sometimes even act on…
These first few I try to do pretty regularly:
- Compliment the next person I see. Even a random stranger. “I love your _____” is easy to say. It forces me to find something to like about him / her.
- Send a note (handwritten, text, email) to someone I love. Just because. Tell them why I love them.
- Call a member of my family whom I have not talked to in a while. Just because.
- One of my favorites – when a conversation turns negative about someone, I try to say something nice about them.
- When receiving great service, I try to tell someone (sometimes Tweet someone) who matters – like the person’s manager.
- Don’t ignore the next homeless person you see. Give something.
- Take a photo of a couple taking each other’s photos (How often do you have amazing vacation photos but none of you and your loved one together?).
These next few I always want to do but don’t do, because of that (little voice in my head) that I still need to learn how to shut up.
- Pay the toll for the car behind me. (The toll booth person will look at me funny and thin I’m weird).
- Pay for the coffee for the person in line behind me at Starbucks. (How do I know what to pay for if I don’t know what they want? This is creating more work for the cashier.)
- Smile a random smile to someone walking down the street. (What if they think I’m nuts or flirting with them? What if they don’t smile back?).
- Give someone the benefit of the doubt. (They probably don’t deserve it, right?).
- Let another car merge in front of me. (Obviously they picked the wrong lane on purpose because it was the faster lane and they should be made to wait and pay for taking advantage of the system).
- Allow someone to help me. (Obviously I don’t need any help and I can take care of myself by myself thank you very much).