I like to think of myself as a decent human being, one that at times will go out of her way to put a smile on someone’s face. I hold doors open for others walking through. I make sure I assist a friend when she’s so frazzled from a hectic day and can’t be in two places at once. I make sure I’m available to my students no matter what time of day it is. However, there are times I feel like what I do is not enough. There are times I want to do more, but I just don’t know what or how to do it.
I’ve been intrigued by others out there in the social media world – ones that have received a random act of kindness and ones that are on the giving end. Recently, one of my friends posted about an incident at the movie theater. He was standing in line, trying to figure out his movie tickets to purchase (how many adults, veterans, and senior citizens). Before he could vocalize his tickets to the box office, a woman came waltzing in front of him and said she would buy four tickets for whatever movie. My friend, thinking this stranger just cut in line, was dumbfounded. Turns out, though, he was the recipient of a random act of kindness. As soon as this woman heard he was buying tickets for some veterans, she jumped at the chance to thank them for their service. For a guy that often acknowledges those people in service, he began to feel what it was like to be on the receiving end.
I look at this friend’s experience and I see hope. There’s hope that human kindness still exists in a world where many people are too afraid to assist for fear of doing more harm than good. I have heard of numerous stories of people buying groceries for firefighters that got called out of the grocery store for an emergency. I’ve read of a police officer who provided new shoes to a teenager whose shoes were holding on by just a few threads. I’ve seen church members take bags full of necessities and hand them out to the homeless. I’ve witnessed reactions to small random acts of kindness – most of them bring a smile to someone’s face.
With the start of February, the month typically known for love, caring and compassion, I wanted to start my own Random Acts of Kindness Initiative. For two weeks, whichever two weeks you choose, do one thing nice for someone daily. Let’s bring the love back into world. Below you will find a list of 14 Days of Kindness. Follow it to the letter, or adjust where needed. Just get out there and begin to put smiles on someone’s face. Better yet, begin to witness the miracles that begin to happen when a little bit of kindness gets others to do the same.
Day 1 – Complement a stranger.
Day 2 – Leave some change on a vending machine with a note saying their snack is on you.
Day 3 – Pay for the coffee of the car behind you at your local coffee shop.
Day 4 – Put sticky notes on the mirror in the bathroom at work to wish others a great day.
Day 5 – Deliver food to a homeless person.
Day 6 – Send a card in the mail to someone who needs the extra love.
Day 7 – Deliver a plate of homemade cookies to your neighbor across the street.
Day 8 – Buy a hot drink for someone working out in the cold.
Day 9 – Buy a box of donuts and take it to your local fire department.
Day 10 – Write words of wisdom, complements, and encouragement in sidewalk chalk around your neighborhood.
Day 11 – Hold the door open for people at the store. Don’t forget to smile!
Day 12 – Send a dessert to another table.
Day 13 – Write a note on a friends social media page and express how much they mean to you.
Day 14 – Buy a bunch or two of carnations. Hand out one flower to each person you walk by in the park.
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