Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness

I’m in a bit of a rut when it comes to finishing my most recent do-good project, Project Night Night, thanks to a hefty condo assessment which like a sponge has soaked up my expendable income for the month. Luckily there’s no rush or deadline to finish, so I’m going to take my time and not skimp on any of the outstanding items, though I am looking forward to wrapping up and actually assembling the bags. The throws (Hello Kitty, Lightning McQueen, and Winnie the Pooh, to name a few) and books I've already purchased are so adorable (I can't wait to share some photos), so all that's left is to get some soft and fluffy stuffed animals that any little one can snuggle with and make their life-long friend. To finish the bags off with a sweet and fun touch, I’m going to make some cute ID tags for each tote, and plan on laminating them so they’re not too flimsy.

Back to the original subject of my post, since I probably won’t be finishing my project until next month, I was searching for little things I could do in the interim and stumbled upon the site for The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. As the name would suggest, the organization is “founded upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.” The website has tons of simple ideas and stories of small, simple gestures that don’t take a lot of time or money but can make a big difference.

Many of the ideas were too specific for my taste, for example, doing something nice for a co-worker or a family member. Where is the randomness in that? You shouldn’t choose the recipient. I love the idea of leaving it to the fates to decide. Man or woman, black or white, young or old, and most importantly deserving or not, after all who are we to judge someone's worthiness which is what we'd be doing if we were to pick one person over another; because in truth those that deserve it the least, probably are those that need it the most. A little kindness, if not a lot, should touch everyone’s life every day. The world would be a better place if it did. I ended up searching some other sites to help round off my list.

1. Leave quarters at a laundromat.
2. Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
3. Leave quarters at a pay phone.
4. Give extra coupons to a random shopper or leave at register.
5. At post office leave some extra stamps at the counter or at the stamp machine. .
6. Keep an extra umbrella in your car and give to anyone who needs it.
7. Put change in a row of vending machines.
8. Bring a special treat to work, and put it in a common area for all to share.
9. Leave a book you have already finished somewhere for someone else to read.
10. Become an organ donor.

I even found a cute little calling card to print out and leave for each recipient. Probably not a good idea to use it on #10.

Obviously, above and beyond this list, we can all share a little more kindness with those around us every day; whether it’s holding a door open, saying ‘have a nice day’, letting someone merge into traffic or simply sharing a friendly smile. You never know the burdens or sorrows someone might be carrying and your simple gesture could make a difference in that person’s day. Let’s all do our part, so that maybe each small kindness we share today with a stranger, comes back to us when we need it tomorrow.