#26 Random Acts of Kindness

266Like many of you, the horror of what happened in Connecticut stunned me. There were moments I was literally speechless as I tried to process it. I spent days and days afterwards reading all the stories, watching reports, just crying at my desk at work and at home. One day my husband came up to me and said, “Why do you keep reading about the victims? It just makes you upset.” I said, “Because I don’t want any one of them to ever be forgotten. I want their lives to have meant something and I want to know about them so they don’t just disappear.”

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I could possibly do for the people in Newtown. I have a girlfriend who lives in Sandy Hook and simply reached out to be an “ear” for her. I can’t imagine what it is like for her and her children (who are blissfully safe). To walk around their town and know the families that have been affected. To watch the news and see their neighbors on air, struggling to come to terms.  Her town is so quaint and beautiful and it’s been marred terribly. I hope in my heart they can heal. That the parents can heal. As a mom of 11 year old twins, I can not imagine going through this. You send your children to school and they should be able to come home. Safely.

So, I decided to do the one thing I could do, which is jump on board the “random acts of kindness” brigade. I’ve enlisted my children, who think it’s fun and quaint, but don’t quite understand the magnitude of why I am doing this. I want them to know there are good people in the world and that kindess isn’t something you have to do, but should do for others. That you don’t have to get any sort of recognition or acknowledgement, either. Just be kind and do good things and maybe it will make someone’s day happier.

So far we’ve done quite a few things. We’ve given out Duncan Donut’s gift cards to a passing sanitation worker, a policeman on the street, a guy behind us in line. The kids used their quarters and filled up the $0.25 gumball machines at the supermarket so it would be a big surprise for the kids who came there next. I tipped our waitress at lunch yesterday 60%, just to be nice. She actually came back up to us as we were leaving to say thank you. Today we purchased crayons, markers and coloring books from the art store and tomorrow we’re going to donate them to the pediatrics unit at the local hospital. I wrote a YA book called FLYING TO THE LIGHT and there are a bunch of copies in my car that I’m going to donate to the local libraries that don’t already have it.

I can’t bring back those children or the adults who tried to save them. But maybe I can do something in this world to help someone else and just maybe I can impart this concept to my children. I hope so and hope one day they’ll just do things to be nice and hopefully help this world to become a better place.

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4 thoughts on “#26 Random Acts of Kindness

  1. I’ve always wanted to win the lottery so I could randomly walk up to someone and pass them a $100 bill while I shake their hand and say “Thank you for being in my life” and then walk on. But I just realized, I really don’t need to give them $100 — I’m sure just shaking their hand to acknowledge they exist might be enough. So many of us today walk about without even letting anyone else know they are a part of your life unless it is to stop and holler at them for something you think they did deliberately to annoy you – such as cutting you off with their car, running into you at the grocery store, and the list goes on. Really? Are we that cruel? Yes. Your RAK I’m sure have been noticed and are truly blessing those you share with. We always think it has to be something BIG to be a RAK but in reality, a smile, a simple thank you, even just a nod ‘hello’ makes the other person warm inside. I’m told if you smile at a person; they’ll smile back. But, if not, more likely they’ll smile at the next person because it happened. If only 10 people started performing RAK on 1/1/13 — just think how many RAK the domino effect would cause by the end of the year on 12/31/13? To quote Louie Armstrong — What a wonderful world.

    • So true Bob – such great words. Someone asked me how much $$ I’m spending on all this… I realize that if I didn’t order a sushi dinner this week, I’d have enough to give out $5 gift cards just to make everyone’s day.

  2. I hear so much about people being inspired by the Connecticut tragedy to do such wonderful things. I cannot help but think about the incongruity of this, needing some horrible tragedy to enable good work. We should focus on others more than we do.

    • Joe – you’re right – people need to be in this mindset all the time. The fact is, in this case, it’s the need to help and the enormity of the tragedy, the sheer helplessness. I don’t think people only do good things when tragedy happens, but I do believe that “trends” and “social media” have enabled things like #26actsofkindness to come about and create even more “self” awareness.

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