Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, a day that originated in New Zealand to encourage acts of kindness. I know that many of you don’t need a special day to be kind to others. You yield to other drivers and pedestrians on the street; you hold the door open for the person coming up behind you, and you share your lunch with a co-worker who did not have the time to take a break. I am sure you can add to the list.
I remember one night my son Ken and I were going home from somewhere, and when we stopped at the light, a newspaper vendor stepped forward and held out a paper to my son. I said to the vendor, “Why are you working so late?” He replied, “This was a very slow day. I didn’t even make enough to buy my dinner.” On hearing this, Ken reached into his pocket, pulled out a fistful of coins and handed them to the man. The man thanked him and thrust the paper toward him again. Ken shook his head. “I don’t want that. I’m just trying to help you out.”
The vendor thanked him profusely and we drove off. I was very proud of my son and told him so. Now that was a random act of kindness. It came from the heart, it was unplanned and spontaneous. However, even if you plan to go out and pay for someone’s coffee or give a bag of groceries to a homeless shelter, it still blesses the recipient and it blesses you.
So, what act of kindness will you do today? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Share words of encouragement. You never know who might need them.
- Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in front of you in line.
- Send a thank-you note to your child’s teacher, principal.
- Take a bouquet of flowers to someone in the hospital.
- If you can’t do any of these or can’t think of anything else, just give someone a smile.
Whatever you do, you will be blessed. Researchers have found that giving benefits the giver as much as it does the receiver. When you are kind to others, kindness returns to you. It may not come from the same person, but it will come. Try it!