Who We Can Be in the World: Embracing Random Acts of Kindness

I’ve been inspired by Amber West’s post A Special Friday Inspiration – Giving Back.  The fantastic ideas she shared is to have bloggers join together to give up something in their lives to help out someone in need.  For the next month, we figure out what we will give up and then blog/tweet about it to share with others. 

Simple right?  Well no, not when you face down something you know you could obviously give up, but are fighting.  What is mine?  Daily gourmet lattes.  I even commented on her site:

Amber, I’ve been noodling on this and struggling with what I had extra that I could cut. My workday latte treat serves as both meds for my migraines (the caffeine) and happiness for a non-morning person…so at first I held tight to it (and screamed no). But I could pre-plan the night before to brew coffee at home two of those days and use that.

My life would churn on just fine having the home-brewed, flavored coffee I enjoy on the weekends those few extra days.  It is a simple change that the blind habit of my actions blocked. 

Having that final breakthrough got me thinking about other simple changes and courtesies we have lost to the rush of it all.  It made me reflect on the daily occurrences of road rage, short tempers, vengeful e-mails and miscommunications I see in part of my world.  It made me think of what else I can give in terms of my time or abilities.  It made me think of how else I can be a more positive force in the world.

“If you aren’t helping someone else, you are doing a huge disservice to the universe.” Anonymous

So here are some happy, smiling, giving-of-self folks with signs reminding us of the basics.  Be kind.  Lead by example.  Inspire someone.  Show compassion.  May we all find that in our own lives and be able to give and receive.

What will be your random act of kindness each day?

What do you do to give back?

Share stories of an unexpected kindness you’ve received.

[Oct. 1 Update: Forgot to mention I’m donating to RAINN -the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, which is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization.  I know too many people affected by this and also wanted an organization that would help women, men, children, teens, all races and all religions. RAINN is great because 92 cents of every dollar goes directly to their work.  There are multiple ways to give to them.]

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24 Responses to Who We Can Be in the World: Embracing Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Good timing on this, Barbara. I was at the checkout at the grocery store tonight. The cashier looked like she was going to cry. I asked her if she was okay and she mumbled something I couldn’t really understand, but I let it go because others were listening. So, I picked up the Mounds candy bar (with dark chocolate, mind you) she had just scanned and I handed it back to her. I told her the dark chocolate would make her feel better. She hesitated at first but I think at that point she would have taken any act of compassion. After she finished ringing me up, I went around to where she stood at the register and pulled her into a hug – which she eagerly accepted. She said, “I’ll be alright.” I said, “Of course you will.” Then I left.

    My son stood, along with everyone else in her line, with his jaw open, staring at me. “Why?” he asked me. “She needed my candy bar and my hug more than I did.”

    He just shook his head. I hope it sinks in somehow, that it’s okay to comfort a complete stranger. It may not be much, but I think the cashier and I parted, feeling great.

    • Oh Diana your story made me tears up for so many reasons! I love the openness and willingness to show your true self to this stranger via the offering of compassion… from the initial inquiry to if she was okay to not making her repeat herself to giving the candy bar to the final hug. It also hit me that the human touch is so so powerful. I used to be hugger and something in life stopped me so I hope to be able to get back to that again. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Diana, your story made me tear up too!

    For the past two Christmases, my mom and I make a bunch of baked goodies for a local fire station. Those guys were blown away the first time we did it. The second time they were thrilled, and asked us to remember them next year. So we’ll be doing it again.

    • Barbara says:

      I love that idea Angela! It is so personal and a definite way to bring them some happiness that day. I like that you do it with your mom as well. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Laura Best says:

    That is a wonderful story, Diana. So glad you shared it.
    These acts of kindness really don’t have to be big, sometimes just the offering of a smile or a hug is all it takes to brighten someone’s day. We all need to give more. A smile or hug costs nothing.

    : Lovely post, Barbara.

    • Barbara says:

      Hi Laura! So glad you stopped by. I agree that the “gives” can be small things that carry so much. That is what resonated with me. How easy it is to get blinded from simple things and the beauty of what being of service is.

  4. That Diana, she’s just so uberfabulicious! Everyone needs more Diana in their life. I bet that woman went home that night and just wondered how amazing humanity can be.

    That’s what this post is about, really. A better world full of humans acting humanely toward one another. One random act of kindness at a time.

    Love this post!

  5. I love this post!

    Diana, you are an angel. Your story reminds me of a time I was in the ER with my son who’d sliced open his finger. While we were waiting a woman came in, obviously distressed, but unable to get information from the nurses on her husband. Turns out she was in Vegas for a convention and her husband had been rushed to the hospital. She ended up on her cell, trying to find out what happened, and everyone moved away…her questions, her tears, I don’t know. I picked up my son and we sat down next to her. I put my arm around her shoulders and she just sighed. The power of human tough. Shortly after the police called her back. I never learned what happened as she was gone by the time my son was stitched up.

    We’re currently a single car family and I’m a SAHM so daily random acts are a challenge. However doing something along the lines of Angela’s baking for the fire station is right up my alley 🙂

    I look forward to getting to know you during Round 4 🙂

    • The power of human touch indeed Raelyn. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your story as well!

      Random acts of kindness are kind of like what ROW80 seems to be – we can all do what works for us. 🙂

  6. Nancy J Nicholson says:

    Barabara, great minds think a like. I talked about this Friday as well. Diana, you are an inspiring woman. I remember this summer, seeing one of the boat yard workers coming out of the restroom, almost in tears. I just reached over and gave her a hug. She shook her head grateful when we parted and went on her way. Much later she said thanks and explained her stress. We may never know the reasons why but the simple act of compassion can go a long way.

  7. It’s go great to see that everyone is picking up on the random acts of kindness theme. I had fab responses to my blog on it last month and the best way to make it work is by spreading the word! Great post Barbara!

  8. Hartford says:

    Love this Barbara!! I’ve got my post all ready to go for Thursday with my Go Without plan. It’s such a wonderful thing to do.

    Diana – LOVE YOU!! O.M.G. so beautiful!!

    And nice to see all the other wonderful stories of giving.

    And Tameri….uberfabulicious…LUV it!! I am so stealing it (if that’s ok…LOL)!!!

    Giving back is such a beautiful thing!

  9. Pingback: Random Acts Of Kindness – Like a Good Meal, It Fills Us Up « Diana Murdock's Blog

  10. Pingback: Join Us! A #GoWithout Mashup | A Day Without Sushi

  11. Pingback: Give back and go without (it’s not thatttt hard…) – Natalie Hartford

  12. EllieAnn says:

    “It made me reflect on the daily occurrences of road rage, short tempers, vengeful e-mails and miscommunications I see in part of my world.”
    Great point! Once you start thinking outside yourself, you begin to see a lot of things new. I’m glad to be taking this journey with you and all the other wonderful people who are giving back!

  13. I love this post, Barbara. It’s a shame to think that our lives can be so hectic that we need to be reminded to be kind, thoughtful, patient, etc. But your words are indeed a wonderful reminder. Great video, too! Thanks.

  14. Thanks for your kind words Ruth! It is sad that our push for more, faster and super advanced can hide the basics from our eyes. Thankfully, we can take the time to remember.

  15. Pingback: For What Do You Give Thanks? | Barbara McDowell's Blog

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