Random Acts of Kindness

Some people are naturally kind. They are typically more sensitive souls, thus making the needs of others more obvious. They are quicker to act and it isn’t out of their comfort zone to interact with a complete stranger. My mom is one of these. She’s super sensitive and is always ready to help someone else. Her genuine smile and soft mannerisms make her easily approachable. I cannot even count the number of times I have seen my mom engaged in conversation with someone while we were out. When asked, “Who was that?” her reply is often, “I have no idea. They just started talking to me.” The kindness just radiates from her and since it draws random people to her, she is given more opportunities for random acts of kindness, which she always takes advantage of!

Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 9-15

Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 9-15

Unfortunately, not all of us are like my mom. Mostly because our smart phones and technology have driven us to distraction. We rely less and less on personal communication and more and more on the Internet. Since this is the case we now have what is called Random Acts of Kindness Week. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has promoted this idea to encourage us to be nice to each other. On one hand, it makes me sad that we  have become such a self-centered society that we need to be reminded to be nice, but on the other hand, we have to start somewhere! Let’s use this week to spring board ourselves into becoming habitually nicer people.

We often miss opportunities to perform random acts of kindness because we’re constantly staring at our phones. Had I been on my phone last week, I would have missed the opportunity to give a man his hat that he had dropped before the elevator doors closed. Not a big thing, but that’s how random acts of kindness are and that’s what is so special about them. My giving him his hat put a smile on his face, and we all know that smiling just makes you happier, which leads to better decisions and choices.

Another reason we miss opportunities is that we’re always in a hurry. Plan ahead so that you have a few minutes and aren’t perpetually late to everything. This will give you less excuse to help someone. You’ll naturally have better manners and be less grumpy and less distracted. Hmm…. distractions can really kill us, huh?

josephjoubert378368The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a lot of resources and ideas for you. They want us to flood social media with positive ideas and thoughts. I don’t totally agree with flooding social media with positivity because social media sort of got us in this problem to begin with. Isolation, false sense of self, false courage, forcing our opinions on others, egocentric photos, etc. are only symptoms of the crazy world we live in. I think it’s important to just be aware of the world around you and you’ll see people everywhere that need a random act of kindness. Even if it’s only a smile!

Here are some things I’ll be doing:

1. Tell my favorite cashier at the grocery store how awesome she is. She’s super fast and really nice to my kids. She deserves to know that I appreciate that. I might even call her manager.

2. Put someone else’s cart away at the grocery store.

3. Help someone put their groceries into their car.

I apparently spend too much time at the grocery store, but I’ll look for other opportunities at other places too. I promise.

The only other problem with Random Acts of Kindness week is that it isn’t exactly random when you plan to be kind. Being kind when it’s hard is when you’ll make the real difference. In that moment not only will you make the choice to be kind, but with that simple choice you’ll give one less dirty look or perhaps swallow an angry retort. And that is something this world definitely needs.

Happy Kindness Week!

About Meghan Zeile

Mom-in-the-know and local writer for Rochester Media. Always looking for tips with kids, family life, and fun local adventures. Contact at Meghan@rochestermedia.com

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