Random Acts of Kindness are good deeds you can do any time to make the world a better place. Each year, we respond to the tragedy of April 15th, 2013 with One Boston Day. A day that encourages random acts of kindness and the spreading goodwill.
This is a wonderfully positive response to a heartbreaking occasion, and anybody can participate. If you have ever committed a random act of kindness, you know how great it feels to be the giver. Personally, I love making the conscious decision on a completely arbitrary day to brighten someone else’s life, even if just briefly. Still, it feels special that there are collective acts of kindness each April 15th. I hope this post inspires you to find your own way to make someone’s days better!
Actions that are free
Paying the tab for the person behind you at the toll booth or drive-through are great ways to bring a smile to a stranger but kindness does not need to have a monetary component. Acts of kindness are about doing: Taking the trash barrels in for a neighbor, holding the door open an extra second for someone approaching, smiling and saying thank you when someone goes out of their way for you. Try volunteering your time in your community; at a food bank, meals on wheels or a community clean-up project.
Gratitude to those who serve
An act of kindness can also be a gesture of gratitude to those who serve in our community: Police, fire fighters, school crossing guards or nurses – and the list goes on! Because my brother is a fireman, regularly working during the holidays, I often think of those who work while we are celebrating with our families. The next time you are at a festivity where there is too much food left over, consider dropping those extra cupcakes off at the Police station, Fire Station or even an Emergency Room/Trauma Center. Or make a special batch of cookies on any day to share with our first responders. Include a thank-you note to really make this special.
To honor someone lost
Acts of kindness can also be mindful and serve to honor a loved one’s birthday – living or deceased. My dad was a blood donor his entire adult life and then became a platelet donor, giving religiously each month. He rarely missed a donate session, and never skipped December because the holidays always suffer from a dip in blood donations. At my dad’s funeral, I asked everyone there to consider donating blood each year on his birthday (December 23rd). What could you do in honor of a loved one?
Donation of goods
After an organizing session, there is always the question of what to do with the stuff that’s no longer needed. Taking the time to bring those items to the Salvation Army or Goodwill is an act of kindness. The donations are sold to raise money for programs that help the community. You are also helping the environment by keeping good items out of a landfill. Homeless and women’s shelters are grateful for donations of household items such as cookware, lamps, blanket and towels. Consider local options such as My Brother’s Keeper in Easton for furniture donation or Support the Soupman in Bridgewater for toiletries and warm clothes. Next time you feel the urge to purge, make the outcome of your organizing an act of kindness.
Positive side effects
When you are actively looking for ways throughout the day to be kind, your own day changes for the better, too. If I am having a particularly trying day or really feeling grouchy, I put a Post-it on my dashboard to remind me to be kind. This small signal helps me alter my outlook and attitude, and it refreshes my spirit.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. – Aesop