This is “Random Acts of Kindness” (RAK) week. https://www.randomactsofkindness.org Anytime is a good time to do something kind—and for no special reason at all. But this week is a special time to create a tsunami of kindness to spread all over the world. To join the movement, you just have to do something kind this week for someone you know (even yourself) and something kind for a stranger. Here are a few ideas I do when I can:
- Say, “Please!” “Thank you!” or “You’re Welcome!”
- Give someone a (sincere) compliment.
- Pick up a piece of trash from the ground and toss or recycle.
- Listen to someone’s troubles without doing anything but sympathizing.
- Give a loved one something you made or wrote or cooked yourself.
- Fill an ice tray, clear a driveway or do another simple act for family or friend.
- Open a door for someone.
- Babysit so the parents have a little free time.
- Donate old but good stuff to a school or thrift store.
- Wear a ribbon that supports a good cause.
- Send a “selfie” that says, “I love you!”
- Practice the “Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”
Great feelings come from doing something for others. I have happy memories of helping out more than one Spanish-speaking stranger. Once I was on a bus in New York and a man wanted to know from the bus driver which stop was the right one to exit. I was thrilled to be able to help. An even more exciting time, I was in an airport and a woman with a small child came a few minutes before boarding and she had been bumped from the flight. I was able to help her understand what had happened and know when to come back the next day—I also helped her get a significant number of free miles for future trips.
It’s also good to reflect on times someone has been kind to you and remember with gratitude. Once a stranger gave me a blessing for no apparent reason. A friend once let me know I had “spinach in my teeth.” Another friend gave me a hug when words were not enough. So many of the teachers with whom I have worked have sent me kind words through social media. Kind words give you energy to keep trying.
Acts of kindness can be very big or very small. They all matter. They ALL matter.
If you are a teacher or a parent, I hope you will look a child or two in the eye and let them know they matter and you care.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Abrazos! Besos! Bondad!