Random Acts of Kindness. Are You a Giver or a Taker?
What have you done lately?
Random acts of kindness seem to be the "in thing" to do at the moment for sure but I learned many years ago from the master just how far one small gesture can really go. Luckily, I found a good guy back some 25 years ago and he ended up being my husband! As soon as I met him, I would always catch him doing really nice things for strangers and thought "hey, what a thoughtful guy he is!"
Over the years I've seen him carrying out countless acts that, for the most part always go unnoticed by anyone else but himself and the recipient. I've seen him pay for a strangers gas at the station while checking out, purchase the order for the car behind him at the drive through, help a friend out with health insurance when they didn't have any and even offer a job to someone in need. No matter what it is, he's always very quiet about it seems to weave it into his day to day operations.
This kind of caring has found it's way to myself and my children in small ways. I now find myself purchasing coffee for the person behind me or returning the grocery cart to the store to save someone a trip. I even find pleasure in leaving little gifts in friends mailboxes anonymously, knowing how it will being a smile to their faces. Once, I purchased the coffee of the car behind me and this person unbeknownst to me, followed me to my next stop. They approached me and said "You have no idea how much you just made my day! I had just purchased these lottery tickets and would like to now follow your lead and hand them off to someone else!" This woman asked ME to place them on someone else car! What a wonderful experience for both of us. See...no small deed goes unnoticed! Each and every time you do something for someone else, your heart secretly smiles!
When you 17 year old surprises you....
As I mentioned above, we've seen our children also do their own little kind gestures through the years without our input what so ever! Recently our 17 year old son stopped in to visit his father at work. It was the smallest of gestures, just coming to visit him but then he brought along a little snack! As you can see from the text above, my husband was so touched at his thoughtfulness and in turn, it left my son feeling great!! Another time, our daughter decided to forgo birthday gifts at her party and instead asked for donations to bring to the animal shelter. She managed to bring in a boatload of food leashes, bedding and treats for all kinds of pets. Dropping these off at the shelter, you couldn't wipe the smile off her face!
Emma and our two dogs, Lilly & Dunkin along with the loot she collected for the shelter!
When someone is experiencing a difficulty, it takes a village...
We've had the benefit of experiencing the love of our friends that surround us first hand! My husband had esophageal cancer 17 years ago after we had just moved to town. At that point in time we had a 1 year old and I was newly pregnant with our daughter. We didn't know more then a handful of people then and we struggled very much to get through such a trying time in our lives. Fast forward 16 years later and he was diagnosed with Kidney cancer. THIS time we were surrounded by loved ones who showered us with everything we needed to get by and then some! Another wonderful act of kindness that made everyone feel like they were helping in some small way and made us certainly feel beyond cherished!
The mailman surprises us all!
When our children were very young, we had to put our 14 year old dog down. The kids were only 2 and 4 and really couldn't comprehend what was going to happen but their little hearts were certainly broken at the thought of losing our beloved Sammy. We decided to make little notes and pictures to "send to heaven with Grandpa" as my then 4 year old son said "and Rich, the mailman can bring them mommy!."
So...I ended up putting the little cards and pictures in an envelope and giving them to Rich one day as I explained what the kids thought we were doing. He was touched and said he would hold onto them for a while. Imagine our surprise when 13 years later, he left them back in our mailbox for us? Who does that? Another random act of kindness that will FOREVER be cherished!
It doesn't take much...
Truly, these are just some examples of things we've done in the past. It can be as simple as holding the door for someone else or giving up your seat on a crowded train. Just those simple actions have such a ripple effect on someone else and in return multiple people benefit all around, plus it just makes YOU feel good inside! So, what do you say? Let's all go out and make this world a brighter place for everyone with one small, simple and kind gesture. I promise, you won't regret it!
Some inspiring ideas to share!
Pay It Forward
- Let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Complement a friend
- Buy the coffee for the person behind you in the drive through.
- Pay the toll for the person behind you.
- Cover the tab for another table at the restaurant
- Leave the change in the vending machine
- Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn
- Leave some fresh picked flowers for someone on their doorstep or mailbox
- Give up your seat on the bus or train.
- Drop another coin in someone meter or leave extra time on yours
- Purchase a lottery ticket for someone in line with you.
- Send a note of encouragement to a friend
- Leave a mystery gift on someones doorstep or mailbox
- Shovel your neighbors sidewalk
- Leave a note on the bathroom mirror that says "Hello gorgeous!" or "Don't you look amazing?"
- Take a friend or family members car to the car wash and fill up with gas!