Random Acts of Kindness week is a seven-day celebration showing that kindness is contagious. It is a chance for those participating to the leave the world a better place and inspire those around them to do the same. Visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s website to learn more!
Here are a few stories from Random Acts of Kindness to inspire kindness this week (and every week).
A Bouquet of Flowers
When I graduated from college I took a job at an insurance company in this huge downtown office building. On my first day, I was escorted to this tiny cubicle surrounded by what seemed like thousands of other tiny cubicles, and put to work doing some meaningless thing. It was so terribly depressing I almost broke down crying. At lunch—after literally punching out on a time clock—all I could think about was how much I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t because I desperately needed the money. When I got back to my cubicle after lunch there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk. For the whole first month I worked there flowers just kept arriving on my desk. I found out later that it had been a kind of spontaneous office project. A woman in the cubicle next to me brought in the first flowers to try to cheer me up, and then other people just began replenishing my vase. I ended up working there for two years, and many of my best, longest-lasting friendships grew out of that experience.
Kindness from a Stranger
A few winters ago, I was at a particularly distressing dinner with a friend who was having a difficult time with her then boyfriend and was considering leaving him. I was getting very worked up because the man she was dating was a very close friend of mine and I was torn between loyalty to her and my friendship with him. She got so upset with me that while I was in the bathroom, she paid her half of the check and left. I was dumbfounded and hurt and so I rushed outside in a weak attempt to reason with her. But she was out of sight and I was so confused that I began to walk without thinking toward the bus stop a few blocks away. I was so lost in my troubles that I started when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I whirled around and to my surprise, there was the waitress from the restaurant holding my purse and coat which I had left in the booth. Without a word, she handed me my belongings and gave me a hug. I burst into tears. She smiled and said, “I have been through that before, and I know how it is. Go home, take a hot bath, and watch Casablanca until you fall asleep.” I laughed, thanked her, climbed onto the bus, and never saw her again.
Do Something Nice
- Buy a roll of brightly colored stickers and stick them on kids shirts as you walk down the street
- Spend a week just being aware of things in nature that befriend you
- Visit a neighbor with a bouquet of flowers for no reason at all.
- Let the person behind you in line at the grocery store go ahead of you
- Laugh out loud often and share your smile generously
- Next time you go to the ice-cream parlor, pay for a few free cones to be given to the next kids to come in.
- Make a dedication on your local radio station to all those people who smiled at strangers today.