I’m submitting this post as a response to the challenge posed by Bruce Kuykendall on The 5 Little Things Challenge for the month of April. Out of the 5 things he proposed, I’ve decided to pick the one that is perhaps the most inspiring: Commit a Random Act of Kindness.
Photo credit: Glennf at Flickr
Firstly, before I share about what I did, I’d like to, for those who are new to this idea, define what is meant by the phrase “random act of kindness”.
What is a Random Act Of Kindness
Here is how Wikipedia definites a random act of kindness….
“A random act of kindness is a purportedly selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual or in some cases even an animal. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happier. Either spontaneous or planned in advance, random acts of kindness are encouraged by various communities.”
In 1982, California peace activist Ann Herbert scribbled on a placemat in a restuarant “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” The words left an impression on a fellow diner, who later told the phrase to others. The words inspired much thought and conversation, including the movie “Pay it Forward” in 2000. An international bestseller also helped to catapult this concept .
There is now a World Kindness Movement. I also found out to my surprise, while doing a google search, that many of the meetings by this movement is being held here from Singapore (my country).
Why Bother To Make A Random Act of Kindness
Perhaps, you may be wondering why bother to make your act of kindness Random? Isn’t it enough to be kind to your family members, friends and colleagues or at least, to the people that you come into contact with?
Well, commiting a random act of kindness is a demonstration of the generosity of your spirit. Kindness is an expression of love. It is an abundance concept. It is the thinking that you are full of love for your fellow human kind that you’ve got more to give, even to strangers or people that you don’t really know.
“A random act of kindness is a manifestation of abundance thinking.” — Evelyn at www.attractionmindmap.com
Sure, you do have to start with being kind to those nearest to you. However, when you commit an act randomly, maybe anonymously as well, you are extending an energy of love, hope, trust and support to the Universe.
Making a random act of kindness is fulfilling in itself. It provides you the opportunity for expansive awareness, a chance to explore your potential for human divinity. While you may have commited your act to benefit the recipient and not to ask for anything in return, you get untold benefits in terms of joy and purpose that you have served others. Do it often enough, it’s no longer called random; it’s kindness that permeats all levels of your Being.
“Some measure their lives by days and years,
Others by heart throbs, passion and tears;
But the surest measure under the sun,
Is what in your lifetime for others you have done.”
— Ruth Smeltzer
Random Act of Kindness To Dissolve Random Act of Violence
As it is often discussed, random acts of kindness is today’s antitode to random acts of terrorism and violence. You continue to read in the papers about intricate plots by terrorist groups, bent on crashing or bombing planes killing randomly all on board. These are usually sensational news, perhaps meant to highlight to you the importance about being vigiliant and to treasure peace and security. At the same time, how often do you read of reported cases of random acts of kindness? If random acts of kindess can be encouraged, they can overshadow acts of senseless killing, bringing about a More Loving World.
The threat of terrorism is a dense negative energy that you probably instinctively experience, whenever you come across such news. You feel it in the chill of your spine, thinking about how potentially destructive terrorism can be.
It’s good to be aware that random acts of kindness can dissolve this negative energy, bringing the Universe to much light. Then, maybe, these so-called random acts of kindness will not be occuring at an infrequent time space reality but much as a way of life.
How To Make A Random Act of Kindness
It’s more than likely that you’ve ever committed a random act of kindness. To make this a conscious process, simply form an intention to be kind and start with an act today.
You may be tempted to think that an act of kindness often involves the giving of money or the buying of gifts. However, it need not necessarily be so. It can be as simple as sending a card, doing a unsolicated task for those in need or letting others in a hurry to get ahead of you in line.
As with everything, the more often you do it, the more it becomes a habit. Your next act can seem small to you but may mean a lot to the recipient!
Aesop once said…
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
My Random Act of Kindness
Here’s my random act of kindness that I would like to share. I’ve often noticed irate drivers while parking my car in shopping centers during peak hours. Cars will be circling round waiting for a slot.
I may have entered the carpark later but more often than not, I would get a slot pretty fast. It helps that I use the three-fingers technique from the Silva Method to “intend” for an empty lot quickly. (If you want to learn this technique, read the instructions in the box below.)
If I’m not in a hurry, I may just graciously give it up to a driver of another car, waiting some distance away. I do not focus on the fact that it may take ages for me to find another empty space. Instead, I’ll just wait around and use the Silva Method to “manifest” another free opening for my car!!
The three-fingers technique is a simple technique to learn. Simply put your first three fingers together and program yourself by going into the alpha level and state that it will always be easy for you to find the shortest queue, a free parking space or not having to wait to get tickets. Each finger apparently represents a subjective energy, desire, belief and expectancy. Together, the three implies faith. Visualisation is key to success for this method. When you next encounter the situation, simply put your three fingers together and visualise the picture of your desired intent. Viola!! You will be surprised by the results.
Well, yesterday was no exception. I was parking my car on a Sunday in a busy mall. A perfect opportunity presented itself for me to commit a random act of kindness.
14 Other Examples For A Random Act of Kindness To Pick From
If you are busted for ideas, here are 14 more examples to kickstart your intention for a random act of kindness:
1. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
This is perhaps the most common example cited. If you’re at a motorway toll booth, pay for the car behind.
2. Donate to a charitable cause.
Turn your papers today to look for a charitable cause to donate to. Forget about the tax break for larger donation sums, even if it is a small amount that you can afford.
3. Send an anonymous card.
Think about someone who deserves to know that he or she is worthy of love or as an acknowledgement of what he or she has done. How often have we been rendered good customer service and a “thank you” is all we give? How about taking it one step further? Send a card. You may not even want to sign off with your name.
4. Deliver a goodie basket made with love.
Bake muffins or cookies and send them to the old folk’s or children’s home.
5. Be kind to your environment.
Avoid littering your environment. Treat your environment with loving care and kindness. While at the beach, pick up the rubbish.
6. Cheer the disspirited.
Grab a bunch of flowers and give it to the cleaner of the toilets in your office building. He or she may be looking somewhat disspirited while slogging away at a less-than glamourous job.
7. Let the person in a hurry behind, go before you.
If you are not in a hurry but notice that the person behind you is, let him or her go first. Here you are showing kindness by giving up your time.
8. Lend a helping hand to a distraught parent.
Kids missing in shopping centers or in public areas occur very often. Parents are often distraught. Offer to help look for these kids.
9. Give up your seat in the public bus to the weary soul.
While it may not take all that much for you to give up your seat in a crowded public bus to the pregnant or the elderly, how about giving up your seat to just any passenger who looks weary or who is carrying a heavy bag?
10. Offer your hand in carrying groceries at the supermarket.
If you notice someone who is struggling with carrying bags of groceries, offer to help lighten their load.
11. Be kind to stray cats or dogs.
The practice of loving kindness should not just extend to your fellow human race. You should also show kindness to animals. If you notice a stray cat or dog, do the right thing and not kick it away!
12. Do a secret act of service.
If you notice a neighbour or a colleague in need of some assistance, how about rendering the help secretly? It can be mowing your neighbour’s untidy lawn or it can be sorting out some files for your colleague. Leave an anonymous card that says “please pay it forward”.
13. Give up your lunch to the needy.
How about skipping your expensive lunch today and donating the money away? Or you can buy lunch and give it to the begger on the street round the corner. Consider having just a salad for yourself instead.
14. Volunteer your help randomly.
Pick randomly a family or someone in crisis. Don’t know where to look? Search your local newspaper for leads. Determine if you can offer in kind or in service.
15. Follow the example on the picture of this post (see above).
The photo opportunity was apparently spotted under the Aurora Bridge in Fremont, Seattle, Wash. If you’ve picked up something that you think may be of value to someone out there, write a short note with your contact details and place it at the location where you’ve found the item.
This list is by no means exhaustive. The idea is to be creative and spontaneous. Be on the prowl over the next few days for an unsuspecting recipient. Rise up to Bruce’s challenge for a Better Month of April and beyond!
“The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”— Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Prize Winner