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Random acts of kindness. February 17, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. The expression “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” has always aggravated me, since, in my opinion, beauty is never senseless, but a great gift and cause for rejoicing whenever and wherever it occurs. Cut that part off, though, and “practice random acts of kindness” definitely works for me. 

Admittedly, the “random” part has never really played a role. I make a point of being kind to cashiers, bank tellers, wait staff, store clerks, people around me in line, the elderly, anybody I encounter. I’ve always felt that I lose nothing by being cheerful and nice, and in fact gain a great deal, not just by improving someone else’s day but by enriching my own. Seeing someone’s face transformed by an unexpected, unaccustomed smile is a real gift.

But I do believe entirely in kindness, a truly underrated virtue. So I was thrilled to read in our local paper, the Allentown PA Morning Call, that there is an organization called The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (www.randomactsofkindness.org), and that it recognizes people who have excelled in its Extreme Kindness Challenge, which they hold annually to promote Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 13-19. 

This year, they recognized a 20-year-old girl, who lives in a cramped bedroom in her family home but churns out custom-painted sneakers (more than 150 pairs so far) for kids with long-term illnesses and disabilities; an 84-year-old man who transforms scrap wood into toy trains for kids who can’t afford toys (1,000 so far); and a 53-year-old woman who advises kids in the local high school’s Random Acts of Kindness Club. (You can read all about it at www.themorningcall.com, “Foundation rewards kindness.”) 

Wowie zowie. Nothing like seeing what people can do for others when they really try! Maybe reading the article will inspire you to do something amazing, or pass it along to someone else you think might have that urge for kindness in their hearts.

But I think we can all carry kindness in our hearts and spread it out so people we see casually will get a little, be it an older person you don’t impatiently push in line or on the road, even if they’re crawling, or a harried cashier who could use a little good cheer and patience, or a couple whose frantic behavior in a restaurant is clearly due to the unfortunate fact that their toddlers and baby have clearly driven them to the edge. 

Just for today, be kind. It’s the human thing to do.

               ‘Til next time,



1. h.ibrahim - February 18, 2012

I think we forget that the only real affirmation is through helping others so it is not just good for others but also good for oneself!

So true!

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