Our Random Acts of Kindness challenge week has come to an end, but continuing to do more acts of kindness has probably not. Putting a focus on acting out of kindness and looking for opportunities to do something nice may be the most valuable thing we have taken from this challenge. We also learned that reaching out sometimes takes a little bit of courage.
Over the week, collectively, we have brought coffee, tea, treats and flowers to co-workers, sent notes of appreciation, left fun little gifts on each other’s desks, given to food banks, cooked French toast for the office, surprised our neighbors, bought coffee and lunch for strangers, and helped the less fortunate in our office neighborhood. We also brought treats, and more importantly, expressed our appreciation to the people that care for our most precious things; bike shops, day care centers and veterinarians.
A few observations:
I try to do things for people when I see an opportunity (random compliment, help the homeless, positive feedback at work, etc.), but thinking about doing it each day made me want to do more. An example: I bought a bag of groceries for a food shelf in a poor area, outstate. Felt sad that it’s probably not enough and I hope it helps someone in need have a healthy meal – I’ll look for other opportunities to help.
For me, the best part of the week was making and distributing care packages for the needly who live in shelters or on the street near our offices. In creating the packages I tried put myself in the place of…what do I think I would need or appreciate if I were on the street? My packages included things like new socks, beef sticks, water, candies, chapstick, lotion, nuts and power bars, bandages, apple sauce and pudding cups. I also put in a YoYo just for fun. I was nervous about handing out the packages personally, but the people I met were appreciative and lovely and they all looked me in the eye. I don’t think I would have done this if not for our challenge but I will definitely do this again.
My public random acts included edging my neighbor’s front walks, buying a stranger lunch, coffee and gas and bringing a treat to my local bike shop in appreciation of their great service. All but the last were anonymous, which I think turned out to be the best part of the experience. It was fun to think how the individuals may have felt when their random act befell them. And hopefully, it may have encouraged them to do something similar themselves. It felt good to inject something positive into someone’s life each day given the chaotic state of the world.
I like the idea of random acts of kindness. It was easy the first few days, but it was more of a challenge as the week went on finding new things to do. I’d like to think I do random kind things for people on a pretty regular basis, but consciously doing them every day has made me think that I will do it even more.
I did a few “random” acts of kindness but I don’t believe it was because of the week we have. What was strange to me, was the idea of reporting on being nice, when it shouldn’t be something that’s rewarded as much as it’s a reward in itself.