Random Act of Kindness Day

Does it not seem kind of ironic to you that RANDOM Act of Kindness Day has an official date? That’s not very RANDOM, now is it?! I also find it kind of bizarre that we need to have a formal day where one is encouraged to do good deeds, be thoughtful to others, go the extra step – should we not try to do these little niceties every day?

You know how this is the year of the 1970 Kiki Project? Well, last year I (geekily) kept an excel spreadsheet where each day I noted one nice thing that either I did for someone or that happened to me. I found this exercise really helped me see that a) it doesn’t take time or money to do something for someone else as small as emailing a quick “happy birthday!” or wishing a neighbour good morning b) what goes around, comes around: small overtures that we make tend to come back to us magnified.

Anyway, I had decided yesterday to play along with our local Random Act of Kindness Day today and see what would unfold. Here’s a chronological list of what went down today!

~ I was actually on the receiving end of the first example of kindness today! A female OPP officer and another woman were handing out these cards

the back of the card asks you to perform a random act of kindness, then pass the card on and pay it forward

along with a free copy of the local crap newspaper, the K-W Record. I thanked them, and explained I already receive the paper – they suggested I take it anyway and pass it along. OK! Why look like a party-pooper first thing in the morning, right? So I took the paper and went on my way.

~ moments later, I encountered Paul who works at the Post Office and who we know quite well. I offered him the newspaper and he gratefully accepted it! All right! That worked out smoothly!

~ as I paid for my groceries at Valumart, I noticed the woman in line behind me was wearing an obviously hand-knit poncho (being the voracious knitter that I am, my eye spots these things quite quickly). Now I have to be candid and state that the knitting itself looked…how can I state this kindly…to be at a beginner level. But I overlooked the quality of the knitting and complimented the woman on the pretty pattern on her poncho, asking also if she made it. Quite pleased, she replied that she had made it, it was her first project, and she can’t wait to do another one! She wished me a nice day as I left with my groceries, and I had some warm fuzzies in my tummy!

~ at lunch, I sent B a quick text of “hugs and kisses, I love you, hope your day is going well.” He replied in kind – nice to connect during a busy day for both of us!

~ I was scheduled to work 9:15-4:30 at the store today. At 1:00 p.m., the phone rang and it was my fellow part-timer, Cass, a university student. She explained that she was running behind in finishing an assignment that was due later today; could I possibly stay and work til 5:00 p.m.? Without hesitation, I replied, YES! Not only is this fitting for today’s kindness theme, BUT it also fits with the Yes Man practice that I have been trying to incorporate into life! Double score!

~ a customer with a young baby navigated her stroller into the store. Strollers + retail establishments can be awkward, as I know only too well from my time with Little E and Baby C. So when she left (after making a purchase), I held the door for her – I know I always appreciate that small nicety.

The K-W Record also included a special advertisement today to promote Random Act of Kindness Day (again, is it really necessary to give people explicit suggestions on how to be considerate to others? How sad, if so!).

the list provided

To summarize a few of the ideas, above, here are five that, in my opinion, are easy, fun, good ideas and five that are stinkers:

Top Five:

1. Thank a business owner/staff person who has provided you with excellent service. [Speaking as someone in retail, it’s always appreciated when your efforts are recognized].

2. Make your family’s favourite dinner. [When I was little, I LOVED when I knew my mom had prepared a meal that I adored and made it especially because I loved it. Ex: blueberry pancakes and bacon!]

3. Share magazines that you get a subscription to when you are finished with them. [Mom, Dad, BFF Debbie, SIL Ana and I have all participated in this practice before – a great way to save $ and recycle reading material!]

4. Hug someone you love and tell them you love them. [Free, fast, and straight from the heart. Amen].

5. Let your kids stay up an hour later than normal if it is not a school day the next day. [Think back to your childhood and how special staying up “late” was! One night will not wreck havoc on the child’s life and will be sooooo exciting for a 5-10 year old!]

Five Dumb Ideas:

1. Tidy up the staff kitchen at your office. [It’s not Random Act of Slavery Day – why reinforce negative slobby behaviour?]

2. Educate others about Random Act of Kindness Day and discuss the importance of “everyday kindness.” [No one likes to be lectured at, and actions speak louder than words, anyway].

3. Car pool with someone for the day. [Not a bad idea in and of itself, just requires pre-planning and schedule co-ordination – not a spur-of-the-moment act].

4. Teach your kids how to make cookies. [Again, not necessarily bad, but make sure everyone is feeling relaxed and rested, is in the mood, and that all ingredients are ready to go; this idea has the potential to go downhill fast if all of the above is not realized].

5. Refer someone to a website that offers valid coupons. [Lame and kinda weird; you don’t want to get a rep as a wack-a-doo].

So there you have it! Did you do anything randomly kind today? Or were you fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a thoughtful gesture? I’d love to hear your story!

Happy Weekend!

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