Thursday, January 09, 2014

Be Kind

We live in a world that is full of pretty selfish people.  In fact I am shocked often at just how much time people spend thinking only of themselves, and what is in it for them.  If there is no benefit to them of doing or saying something, they just won't do it.  I wonder if people realize the benefits of being kind and of serving others.
On the other hand I am pleasantly surprised at the "random acts of kindness" that I see in the lives of those around me and some that reach far and wide, that I do not know.

You see, several months ago, I made a decision that I wanted to do one small act of kindness everyday, for someone other than for my family.  My lofty goal actually started out really great.  I had made a list of ideas that I could do, and had set a plan to put it into place.  And it worked for about a week!  Then life kind of got in the way.

I realized a few things.  I could plan and make some things happen, which was good, but even more important than that, was I should be watching for opportunities every day, and every where I go.  You know the little things like leaving a quarter in the Safeway shopping cart, so the next person doesn't have to dig for one.  Or seeing someone struggling with a bunch of things to carry, and offering to help. 

I began to see, that my "random acts of kindness" didn't need to be planned out.  They could and should also be RANDOM.   Well of course they should!  That was one of those DUH moments for me!  I would sit down at the beginning of the week, and think about who needed my services, or a little extra attention that week, and schedule in when I would do what.  There was no RANDOM in it, and it quickly faded for me, because it became another thing on my list of things to do.

So I decided that I will still plan out the things that I think some people need me to do, and label it "service opportunities", and try to create my "random acts of kindness",
at random!  It might be as little as making sure that I make eye contact with everyone that I can, and then even taking it a step further, and smiling at them.  Or even saying hello.  It is surprising how many people can go through a whole day without someone smiling at them.  Really!  When you stand in a line at the store, do you chat with the person behind or in front of you?  Why not try it?    At Christmas this year, we had put together a bunch of dollar store goodie bags, and arranged for a Santa to go on Christmas Eve and deliver them to a few places.  While we were in the dollar store, buying about 15 little teddy bears, some lady in the line up mentioned the fact of how full our cart was, and all the little bears.  So I took the opportunity to tell her what we were doing, and before long everyone in the line was listening, even the clerk, and smiling and talking about what a wonderful thing it was.  And for us, you know it was a little thing, really, but for the kids receiving, it was big, and for the people in the line that we laughed and talked with, it was big.

It doesn't take much to just be aware of your surroundings each day, and watch for small little opportunities to be kind.

You will be amazed once you start at just how many opportunities there are to be kind to other people.

And if you really are one of those people like me, who just can't seem to think of things to do, or needs to go by a schedule, or who just can't see those random things at first, then here is a list of things that might get you inspired and going.

Greeting Card Ideas
  • for any special occasions
  • for appreciation
  • when they are missing
  • to say thanks
  • reminders of events
  • reminders of things we did together
  • to share a joke
  • to say I love you
  • for a job well done
  • to share wonderful news
  • tell them what they mean to you
  • for fun memories
  • encourage with scripture
  • make and deliver cookies
  • take treats to a daycare
  • donate diapers, etc to teen moms
  • leave a gift card for someone
  • take dinner to someone
  • become email pals
  • make pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa
  • I love you because.... cards
  • coloring books and crayons to ER
  • fortune cookies – fortunate to have a friend like you
  • leave chalk messages for a friend on their sidewalk
  • leave smiley faces on the mirrors wherever we go
  • always have treats baked and ready to go
  • take a flower to someone
  • take a friendly balloon to someone
  • just because, thinking of you today, wanted you to know, simply just because
  • a bottle of refreshment – enjoy your day with a little refreshment
  • small gift basket full of treats from....
  • welcome to the neighborhood gift
  • thank someone
  • follow inspiration immediately
  • compliment someone
  • do something for a cause or group
  • give a book to a friend
  • hand written notes
  • pick a book – put $5 inside with a note to use the 5 to purchase the book
  • hand out lollipops at a store
  • hand out coloring books and crayons at a store full of kids with a note attached about the importance of sharing kindness
  • hand out small mirrors to people with the note attached – you are beautiful just the way you are
  • care pkgs for someone who is sick – herb tea & mug, chocolates, tissues, noodle soup
  • little boxes or bags with candy hearts and note saying you are loved
  • buy someone tickets to something at the esplanade
  • place sidewalk chalk at a playground for kids to use
  • take a large cake to food bank for supper
  • take stuffies to kids in hospital
  • take small hats to babies in hospital
  • take a bag of do food to the SPCA
  • add money to a parking meter
  • knit booties for kids at hospital
  • buy a magazine for a friend
  • leave kind notes in library books
  • take flowers to hospital patients
  • leave positive comments online
  • tape loonies to toys at dollar store with note saying buy a toy on me
  • take fun balloons to the kids floor at the hospital
  • take crayons and coloring books to hospital
  • make cookies and take to staff room at school
  • take flowers to a care center
  • donate clothes
  • leave coins at a car wash
  • leave stick on eyes in random places to make people smile
  • write a kind note and sent it to a random address
  • put hearts on random wind shields in a parking lot
  • leave a sidewalk chalk message
  • post happy quotes in random places
  • stop complaining – speak positive
  • give hot chocolate & a mug
  • buy a Costco cake and a large jug of milk and take to the fire station
  • leave a basket full of goodies at the missionaries home
  • make and give headbands for the new babies and moms at the maternity unit
  • smiley faces – someone is happy because of you today
  • support a young persons dream
  • have an ...... appreciation day for who needs it
  • compliment everyone
  • make little gift baskets for kids in the neighborhood – just because
  • learn to just listen
  • learn to use peoples names
  • buy a small gift for someone just because
  • leave a pretty bag of hugs and kisses with a note on a door
It really doesn't matter what it is, how you do it, or when you do it.  It really only matters that you DO IT!!!


Tycy said...

I loved this. Thanks Auntie! It really is the little things that make the biggest difference. And I've been trying to remember and act on those whenever there's a chance.

Davilyn Atwood said...

Thanks Tycy. Good to hear from you!! True, true!

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