Purposeful but Random Acts of Kindness

To hear the audio version of this story check out: http://grindpodcast.com/2018/11/random-act-of-kindness/

“Do Something Great neon sign” by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Imagine making a true impact on the world. Creating a small dent in the Universe. Participating in tears of joy, deep belly laughter, and lasting memories that will never be regretted.

Participating in random and purposeful acts of service and kindness everyday will give back to you in ways that you could never imagine.

Sure, striving to achieve goals, making sure you have profit to keep the lights on, doing the daily habitual tasks of your purpose are important. But will they be remembered?

An interesting question to ponder.

Will we remember the mundane?

What about the water cooler talk? You know, the small talk that stays very surface level. Will you remember that?

Or what about all the TV shows you spend your precious time watching? Will you remember those and be thankful you watched them?

I just calculated the fact that I only have about 216,000 hours of time left if I lived until I was 75. I already took out sleep time. Even if I only spent 3 hours per week watching a TV show of some kind, that’s still 156 hours per year or almost 6 days of my life. And 3 hours is on the low end of what the average person watches.

That should make you critically think about what you spend your time doing.

Everyone is looking for fulfillment. But are we looking in the wrong spot?

A group of us went out the other night to door knock around a new real estate listing of ours so we could invite the neighbors to our upcoming open house.

It’s a great way to get out in our community, get out of our comfort zones, and my favorite, get out of the office.

As I pulled up to the home in which the open house was going to happen, I noticed that the clients were outside raking the front yard area. They are in their mid 70s, in decent health but starting to show their age. In fact the husband, has an extremely bad back that makes it so he has a limp. It’s important to note that he is an Air Force Veteran.

I have a special place in my heart for my fellow vets.

I greeted them, and asked how they were. It was about 530pm and the sun was going down.

They mentioned being tired as they have been getting the house ready to sell and it was really taking a toll on them. They did not know how they were going to finish the back yard leaf raking as that was much worse than the front.

They asked me if I knew of a company that could take care of it. I thought I did so I shot out a text and mentioned I would get back to them.

As my fellow door knockers arrived we decided to get rapping on the doors. We paired up.

About the 8th house in, my partner and I ran into David. David answered the door and looked pretty rough. He was in a robe, looked like he was in pain, and spoke softly.

Through conversation we discovered that David was a 32 year Army Veteran that had just got his prostate removed and had some other health issues.

One of his current worries was how he was going to try and get his own leaves cleaned up before the snow. As we looked at his yard, we couldn’t believe the amount of leaves.

He had about a 5 inch thick blanket of leaves on his entire yard. Damn oak trees!

I mentioned the company I was trying to refer the other homeowners to and he said he would love an estimate on getting them cleaned up. I got his number and we kept on moving.

The door knocking went well for us as we got some great connections. As we parted that evening, I had still not heard from my leaf clean up guy. I went to bed that evening thinking about how I could help these two veteran families.

The next morning as I got into the office, my leaf connection reached out to me and mentioned that he sold his company and he no longer did that. Now I was stuck.

Here it was 9am on a Friday with some snow in the forecast and I had no connections to help out.

As I looked at my calendar that day, it dawned on me that I didn’t have anything super significant going on other than meeting someone for lunch. I decided at that moment I was going to go rake those damn leaves.

I also decided that I was going to spend the next hour or so rallying the troops to get people to help.

It was time for a random act of kindness.

I ended up rallying about 8–10 people.

We all met at the first house, rakes and blowers in hand, around 2pm that afternoon.

I also invited my wife and kids which showed up a bit later.

The first couple, the ones in their 70s, were amazed we were there. Since we had so many people, we absolutely crushed that yard! We wrapped it up in about an hour.

As we were about to leave the couple started crying and in gratitude gave us all a big hug and truly thanked us for what we had just done.

It was in that moment that I discovered what it really meant to help out your fellow humans without expecting anything in return.

The other house went about the same way other than the fact that there was 10 times the amount of leaves.

The owner was no where to be found so when we finished we left only to receive this message the next day:

“We are so grateful to you and the group of volunteers that helped clean our yard of leaves. We appreciate your willingness to help us. Its people like you that remind us that life is wonderful even when going thru difficult times.”

That afternoon, there were tears and laughter. As a group of people, we bonded through our random act of service.

Usually, we get all wrapped up in our days of unimportant mundane tasks that we think are the most important things in the world.

Truly helping out the people around you will pay you back dividends that you are not prepared for.

There is also something special about making your act of service completely random and surprising.

We get stuck in our own worlds and our own heads. We don’t realize how much of a zombie we can be on certain days.

Don’t waste your hours and your minutes you have left on this planet. Give without expecting anything in return. It will pay you interest in more ways than money ever can.

What will be your random act of service today?

Stay frosty and as always, GRIND ON!

JT


For more juicy content, check out our podcast the Grind: http://grindpodcast.com