We have an interesting culture here in America -- many of us wake up early each day, get ready for work, commute to our job, put in our 8-12 hour commitment at work, go home, eat, spend some time with our families, watch some TV or maybe spend some time on the computer, get ready for bed and do it all again the next morning.....oh, and added to that if you are a parent... deal with kids to wake up, feed, dress and drop off/pick up from daycare or school, homework, sports, clubs, etc. On top of all that, schedule in working out, shopping, preparing meals, cleaning our homes, dealing with car issues, paying bills, volunteer work and other stuff we all need to somehow manage to eek into our schedules each day.
We are an extremely busy culture, and it seems that everyone is in a rush these days--you see it on the road, at the market, at restarants and pretty much anywhere people gather together for a service or product.... It's even more pronounced in big cities like San Fancisco or New York. It's all about squeezing as much as you can into as little time as possible, and our collective patience for things like lines at the supermarket and downloads from our smartphones is waning. It has gotten to the point where we are an "on demand" society in many ways, and I think we'll all ackowledge--Life can be stressful!
By Friday afternoon, we are looking forward to our weekends, maybe a trip, some yard work, dinner with friends or family or a movie, and many of us are exhausted! Of course, the weekend zips by way too quickly and Monday morning is here before we know it and the cycle starts all over again...
However, as busy as we are, we all have opportunities in our day to make a difference to someone we may not even know through random acts of kindness.
What exactly is a random act of kindness and why should it be important to us? Well, to me a random act of kindness defines those that offer it and benefits those on the receiving end....without expectation by the Offeror of any reciprocation whatsoever.
These acts are important to me, because many times as the Offeror, it simply makes me feel good as a person knowing my act helped someone.. At that moment an act occurs, the person receiving the act realizes they actually matter to someone else, which is a very powerful pick me up. Of course, being on the receiving end of an act of kindness also feels good and is always appreciated and makes my day better!
Some examples of random acts of kindness are:
- Donating money to a family dealing with a hopeless or tragic situation.
- Giving the other car that parking space closest to the building.
- Letting that person that appears to be in a rush go ahead of you at the market.
- Mowing your elderly neighbors yard.
- Complimenting someone on their hair, clothing, work performed, etc...
- Buying an extra turkey and bringing it to your local shelter during the holidays.
- Doing your significant others chores as a surprise to them.
- Letting that car cut in in front ouf you from a driveway during a busy commute.
There is actually an foundation that promotes Random Acts of Kindness...below is the link.
There are some inspiring stories in their web site and also ideas, quotes and links that you may find interesting.