Random Acts of Kindness
Unless you have been living in a cave on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific your whole life, you have heard of ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ (RAK). They are everywhere on the Internet. There are websites dedicated to them, YouTube videos showing them, and news items reporting them. Even Hollywood makes films about them: Pay It Forward, Hugo, and The Pursuit of Happiness being three that come to mind off the top of my head.
Famous Random Acts of Kindness
I’m a huge fan of random acts of kindness. I love reading about them, watching them and, in my own small way, doing them. I think everyone has their favorite, but here are some of mine.
• The firemen who gave oxygen to a kitten after finding it in a house-fire.
• The people who give free electricity during natural disasters.
• A drycleaner offering free cleaning for job interviews.
• A well-known fast food chain offering free sandwiches to the homeless.
• A policeman buying boots for a bare-footed homeless man.
I love reading about them because, like most people, when I read them they restore my faith in humanity. The only problem is, someone is always peeling onions close by. Oh, and my daughter shouts at me to stop blubbing like a baby!
Why Do People Do RAKs?
This is actually quite a difficult question to ask. First of all, here are a few reasons I thought of.
Lots of religious people do random acts of kindness every day.
• Feels Good:
Anyone who has ever been kind (er…everyone?) knows how good it feels.
People who are kind are more popular than people who aren’t.
• Setting an example:
If you have kids, you’ll know how important it is to show them how RAKs affect others in a positive way.
But why is it a difficult question to ask? Well, why doesn’t everyone do them? Everyone accepts that they make people feel good and yet, random acts of kindness are so newsworthy, not because they are so common, but because they are so rare. Perhaps a better question would be, “Why don’t people do them?”
What RAKs Can We Do Every Day?
So, what can we do every day to improve the lives of those around us? Again, there are lots of examples around but I thought I would concentrate on a few ideas that, in these times of economic uncertainty, won’t cost you any money.
1. Help someone elderly cross the road.
2. Pick up litter.
3. Hand in lost property.
4. Better yet, try and find the person who lost it.
5. Carry someone’s bags.
6. Hold a door open for the next person coming through.
7. If you’re on public transport, stand up for someone.
8. Return something that someone has dropped
9. Help someone who is lost.
10. Smile at everyone you meet.
When I lived in London, nothing made me feel better than helping lost Americans. I think it was the chaos of London’s streets that so confused them, as major American cities were designed using the grid system.
Why do I do it?
Many years ago, before the expression became famous, an Irish friend of mine did something kind. He then told me he did it because he want to ‘break the cycle of indifference’. This has stuck with me to this day. For me, random acts of kindness are not just about being kind; they are about showing the world that I care, and that I can make a difference.
What random acts of kindness have you done? What other famous examples can you think of? Why do you do random acts of kindness? Leave a comment below, and share it with the world.
Random Acts of Kindness