Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Random acts...

I recently turned 40.
In the spirit of various pins on pinterest, and ideas floating around the Internets, I decided that I wanted to do 40 random acts of kindness for my birthday. I toyed with a few different ideas among which were buying roses and leaving them on car windshields, passing out candy or other treats, printing out notes that say "Someone love you." and putting them where people would find them. These are all fine ideas, but somehow they made me feel like I was trying too hard. Trying to cram as much kindness into as little time as I possibly could. Something about that just didn't seem right. I was trying to be kind for the sake of getting to a certain number.
My husband took the day off work for my birthday. We went around town running various errands including driving up to a local view spot that has a $1 parking fee for a year long pass. A couple of times when we have gone up there the little shop you buy the passes has been closed, so we hadn't gotten one yet this year. I went in, paid for my pass, and gave the cashier an extra dollar to pay for the next person who came in to get one. That was my first act of kindness.
Outside there was a couple with a beautiful dog taking pictures of each other. I went over and offered to take a picture of them together. Act of kindness two.
Then we went to lunch and I left the waitress a nice note along with the tip. At this point I realized that I was not going to accomplish 40 acts of kindness in one day without mass producing them and making things feel a little less personal. My husband suggested that I should try to do my 40 acts during the week of my birthday instead. I wasn't totally happy with that compromise but decided to think about it.
Today I had a little epiphany. Why was I so worried about achieving this goal? Was it so I could feel good about myself? Was it for bragging rights about how good I was being? Was it so I could turn my thoughts outward on a day when I was feeling tempted to only think about me? Was it so that other people would experience a little kindness in small ways that they might not normally encounter? It was probably a combination of all of those. Then it hit me. I should be being kind ALL the time, to EVERYONE. It shouldn't be about numbers, or anything other than being a better person and treating people the way that everyone deserves to be treated.
So, my 40 acts was somewhat of a failure, but to me it was also a complete success. I think you should try it too.
Try being kind for the sake of being kind.
Stretch a little bit outside of yourself.
Smile at a stranger.
Hold the door open for someone.
Give compliments freely and without embarrassment.
Be generous.
Say positive things and keep the negative to yourself.
Be forgiving.
Look up and make eye contact.
Be a good tipper.
Show patience.
Give someone a hug (acts of kindness are for more than just strangers).
Write a letter.
Say Thank You.
Lend a helping hand.
Think of yourself less.
Don't worry about numbers or keeping track, just be a better person. And if you slip up, you can just start right over. I dare you to try it. It might just change your life!


11 comments:

Deena said...

awesome.

dayofmine said...

This is a good thing to remember! I like the idea of making it a conscious thought rather than pushing it to the back of your mind. I think it's good that you didn't try to cram 40 into one day, because that definitely would have had to be mass produced to reach your goal.

I'm glad you had a good birthday!

Konrad

Carrot Jello said...

Happy Belated Birthday! :D

Yvonne said...

You are so fabulous--which is why I love you. GREAT THOUGHTS.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that your husband took the day off work for your birthday.

jeremy said...

You did what is right.


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WifeyMommy said...

Seriously, such an awesome idea AND epiphany. Being kind is fun. Why not do it every day instead of waiting for a special occasion? Thanks for the awesome thoughts!

Jason Wyatt said...

Great info...This blog is a must read!!!!

G. Anne Ho said...

I am very happy you came to the conclusion to be kind on an everyday level. It's our existence on an everyday level that can be anything that we make it. It's a good karma that goes around will come around again to you. I wish you good karma and hope this continues enough that your children, and their children learn to be kind. This is something our world indeed needs more of.

Nancy Face said...

I loved reading this so much! Just wonderful!

A favorite act of kindness I like to do is to write a note and send it in the mail after one of my Beehive girls gives a talk in Sacrament Meeting. I take a few notes during her talk so that I can tell her specifically what I enjoyed about it. (I got the idea from a very thoughtful man who did that for my husband. It was very unexpected and really meant a lot to him!)

Happy, happy birthday!

Nathan said...

What a profoundly simple thought. I suppose before I can do this, I would have to stop playing pranks on people at work.

Baby steps.

Lorryn said...

Hello Heffalump!
I think it's wonderful that you had chosen to do random acts of kindness on your birthday. Little things like that can turn a bad day for someone into a great day.
Doing it all in one day would have been difficult, and a week to do it seems like it'd provide more happiness to you, too. Since you'd be able to put more effort into the act and being certain that it helped somebody. After reading this, I'm even considering doing random acts of kindness. :)