Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Acts of Kindness

Acts of Kindness
Robin @ Kids Matter
Sometimes it seems like the world is going crazy; people can be downright rude and inconsiderate.  Taking the time to help someone, or even offer a friendly “hello” or a warm smile is often out of the question.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy.” Everyone is so caught up in their own world, activities, and priorities, that they often don’t take the time to look up and around at the beautiful world and people around them. 
            Acts of kindness are woefully lacking in our society.  As globalization spreads, and the world becomes smaller, we know less about our neighbors and have become uninvolved in our communities.  Unfortunately, as the world and technology become more advanced, many people become more backward, losing basic social skills.   How do we get them back?  I suggest that one way is by helping others in a self-less, thoughtful, caring way.   According to Gandhi, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” 
            Acts of kindness have become a rarity, but they have also become popular.  There is a random act of kindness week and many people do acts of kindness on their birthdays, one act for each year they have been alive.  A random act of kindness is a nice and self-less act done by one person to help or encourage someone else.  The action should technically be done anonymously, since there shouldn’t be an expectation of a return, such as a “thank you”.  But, just doing kind acts is always great too.  A word of encouragement to a co-worker, or holding the door for someone can make someone’s day.  It’s also very important to teach our children about kindness and encourage them to help others. 
            So, you may be thinking what can I do?  Below are some acts of kindness examples.  This list is by no means exhaustive… it could go on forever.   Be creative in thinking of things to do, and remember that you don’t have to spend money to show kindness.
·       Push your neighbor’s trash cans back beside the house where they belong after trash pickup.
·       Visit a nursing home and interact with those who don’t have any other visitors.
·       Pick up the tab for the person behind you in line at the drive-thru restaurant.
·       Tape change to the soda or snack machine in a hospital or at work.
·       Take canned goods to a food bank.
·       Leave a kind note for a family member or co-worker.
·       Put change in the parking meter for someone whose time is getting low.
·       Donate to the energy assistance fund in your community.
·       Buy a meal for a homeless person.
·       Send flowers to someone in the hospital… the nurses can make sure it goes to someone who doesn’t get many visitors.
·       Take books and magazines you’ve already read to a hospital or nursing home.
·       Pick up trash at a neighborhood park.

For additional acts of kindness please see Random Acts of Kindness.

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