Blog-a-Day Day Six (kindness)

6. What was your last random act of kindness? — holding a door open for a couple with 2 strollers – my daughter held the other door.

To be truthful, I thought I would get a jump start on all of these blogs, so I started answering the questions in a word file a few weeks ago.  At that time, I answered as honestly as I could based on that day’s events.  So I don’t really know what my last ‘random act of kindness’ was because I don’t keep track.  Why don’t I keep track?  Because A) I am not sure I agree with the concept of random kindness and 2) there are way too many other things taking up space in my brain.

I know why the “RAK” movement got started – or I think I do.  We live in an increasingly impersonal world, and someone, or a group of someones, decided that we should be kinder to one another – randomly doing things for others to make their lives a little easier.  But! to do random acts of kindness implies (probably not unjustly) that we are generally self-absorbed, and that we might occasionally come out of our bubbles to help our fellow man before retreating once again into self-absorption.  How silly is this? and how self-centered!

I believe in intentional, consistent acts of kindness – This is not random as in haphazard or accidental, it is a way of life.  It might seem random to the person on the receiving end, based on their perception, based on what’s going on with them that day, but for you or me, it is just being a considerate, kind, thoughtful human being.  I hold the door open not because I want a pat on the back, but because it is the right thing to do, and I would do it for a woman with a stroller and for the gentleman with the walker, and for the person that seems able-bodied and just happens to be crossing my path.  I look at the person across the deli counter, and genuinely thank them for their service.  I move to the other lane on the highway so that the person merging can do so with ease.

Such simple things, and it should be so much a way of life, that one can’t pinpoint one nice thing one’s done in a day, because it’s nothing out of the ordinary.  As has been said before, one never knows when a simple smile or a kind word can make someone’s day, and it’s true.  But there should be nothing random about it.

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.

John Wesley (1703-1791)

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