I was recently honored to take part in a Facebook Event called “Random Act of Kindness Friday”.
One woman had established the day on her own, and the message spread. By the time the day rolled around, over 25,000 people had indicated that they would be participating by executing an act and sharing as many (or few) details about it as they wished.
Some of my favorites included:
a woman who snuck into the room of her mom’s friend at a nursing home (who never has visitors) and decorated for the holidays (small tree, ornaments, Christmas blanket)
someone who bought a bunch of scratch-off lottery tickets and randomly handed them out in a grocery store
a gentleman who went to Wal-Mart and paid off the layaway bill for a family
a woman who has no money to give, so she gave a ride to help a neighbor visit her family
There is only ONE thing it takes to be a GIVER…and it is most certainly NOT money.
It is HEART.
If you don’t have heart, you’ve just made winter a heck of a lot colder for yourself.
One part of Friday’s Acts of Kindness marathon which I truly enjoyed were posts from a few people who said “I didn’t really take the time to give today, but I am sitting here crying tears of joy after reading what many of you have done. I am inspired by the true joy in the world”.
I can imagine how they felt. In fact, I don’t have to imagine. I only need to remember.
In my early 20’s, I wished to be a giver, and had dreams of giving back something HUGE someday.
What I was missing then was the knowledge that even a small act of kindness can cause a ripple effect with special healing powers for the soul…and more.
According to a Yahoo Voices article penned by Jessica Bosari:
Kindness helps the giver, receiver and the witness to kindness. Being involved in an acts of kindness, even passively, will increase the levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter than improves mood) in your brain. This chemical reaction can be compared to runners high and is sometimes called “helpers high”.
During a recent event as ‘motivational emcee’ for the Salvation Army’s Kids Camp breakfast, I shared that quote and asked those in attendance to say, when asked why they were late for work that day, that they’d been out ‘getting high’ all morning.
I’m sure the HR Department would LOVE that one!
Of course not all skies remain sunny, even on days devoted to love and kindness. As you know, I am not one of those motivational speakers who ride a unicorn across rainbows in the sky. I prefer to come from the heart, and sometimes my heart gets heavy.
There were some people whose involvement on Random Acts Friday was simply to tell the rest of us that we were sinning against God by being boastful (as we gathered to share ideas and achievements).
Ummmm…. no, not in my opinion.
Boastful, to me, is holding the door open for someone and then exclaiming “Hey, look at me, I just held that door for you…aren’t I awesome?!?”
Sharing acts of kindness on a page CREATED to share acts of kindness is different.
One person even managed to tell us: “I hate this… If you need to set aside a day of the year to do something kind for random strangers, chances are you are a horrible asshole the other 364 days of the year.”
This must have been one of HIS other 364 days, huh?!?
He then managed to throw a couple of Bible verses at us to let us know that God hates people who brag about their kind deeds.
As I replied to him, I acknowledged that he was the one thumping the Bible and was the ONLY one to use the word ‘hate’ to describe this day.
And I’m pretty sure Jesus never called anyone an a**hole… even the bad guys.
So, despite people like this, acts of kindness are really cool.
Don’t like sharing what you’ve done? No worries. It still means something, especially to the recipients.
If you don’t mind sharing them, I am always looking for ideas.
Sometime in late January, some friends and I are going to make something very big and FUN happen.
Details will be forthcoming.
Until then, please continue committing acts of kindness.
You’d be amazed at the feeling you’ll get!