We have just had Random Acts of Kindness week, and, of course, welcome anyone that puts kindness first in any shape or form. However, for the last 4 years, I have been advocating for purposeful acts of kindness. What do I mean by that and what is the difference?
To me, random acts of kindness means that we spontaneously jump into action to be kind to a person or a group.
Let me back up for a second, Kindness is innate in all of us. And there is a big distinction between etiquette, being nice, and Kindness. So when we hear of random acts of kindness, these acts are quite often a part of good etiquette. For example, when you hold open a door for someone, etc.
Personally, I find it powerful when we look outside of our own everyday life and purposefully do something wonderful for someone else. There is no money involved. All it costs is our time and our attention.
I have so many examples that I do not even know where to begin to show you the many ways we can become kindness instigators. But as a start…
Think of your own environment, where you live, who you see every single day without really noticing them… The moment these unnoticed people are not there, you notice their absence. But while they are there, you have no clue who they are.
What I am saying is that every human being wants to be acknowledged.
· The parking attendant who takes your ticket every day
· The barista who serves your coffee latte
· The cashier at the grocery store
· The security guards in the building where you work.
· The crossing guard who you see when you pick up your child from school
· The counter clerk at the gas station
All these people are part of your environment. What if you would dare to not only be kind to them but to notice them? It would take little effort on your part but it would make a heap of difference in their lives. When you really look at someone, they feel it and they will grow an inch on the inside because of it. BE the reason someone smiles today through your purposeful acknowledgement of their existence.
As I always say, we all love to be the recipient of Kindness — whether food, gifts, or money — but we hesitate when it comes to giving it. However, Kindness is the only free thing we have to give.
Nobody forgets an act of kindness. Kindness is always remembered.