After a workout at the gym my little one and I stopped by Subway for some lunch. I was actively trying to think of my next act of kindness but nothing was really coming to me. I scanned the room looking at the customers, hoping for inspiration, but nothing hit.
We finished eating then walked outside and I happened to make eye contact with a man sitting on the sidewalk. He softly asked me if I had any change so he could get some food. Well I rarely if ever have actual cash on me. I told him that but said that if he wanted to follow me back into Subway I’d buy him some lunch. I told him to order two footlong’s so he’d have something for then and something for later.
He was a very quiet man, and seemed almost defeated. I’ve felt defeated before too, but for different reasons. As he quietly thanked me I replied with a heartfelt “You’re welcome” as I patted his arm.
No snark today, just a good deed, that my 4 year old asked me all about on our walk back to the car. He asked me why I bought that man lunch. “Because I could, honey, because I could.”
“Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful. “
I’m using a cool little “Press This” app to share a website on all things to do with Random Acts of Kindness. Check it out:
Welcome | Random Acts of Kindness. <—— this link here
“Your greatness is measured by your kindness; your education and intellect by your modesty; your ignorance is betrayed by your suspicions and prejudices, and your real caliber is measured by the consideration and tolerance you have for others.”
I’ve managed to fit in a few random acts of kindness, nothing super huge or grand, just small scale RAK’s.
And that completes my random acts of kindness for the past few days. What kind things have you done lately? Please share.
“You can feel better about yourself in a very short period of time depending on the kind of magic that you are doing.” ~ David Copperfield
My random act of kindness today was simple. I fed a parking meter 0.75 cents today, to benefit a stranger.
Then I later found out that if someone doesn’t use it within a certain amount of time, the meter will time out and the city just keeps the money.
Totally bogus – no more parking meter RAoK’s for me!
Yesterday I remembered that a few weeks ago I’d taken my four year old to one of those pottery places where you can paint an already made ceramic project. So we took a drive to go pick it up. All morning I’d been wondering what sort of random act of kindness I could perform next. Perform – haha – I guess I shouldn’t use a word like that – perform, it’s just so ‘showy’ – I want random acts of kindness to be a part of who I am, not some flamboyant gesture to brag about. That’s part of the reason I’m blogging anonymously. Did I forget to mention that in my first post? Well, yeah, my name isn’t really Heather, but for the sake of this blog, it is now. I don’t know why, but it seems to me that if you go around bragging about all the secret kind things you do, then somehow that takes away from it a bit. As if you’re doing it for the recognition, rather than for the pay it forward effect you’re really hoping for.
But oops, I just digressed!
As my young son and I walked into the shop I looked around. The place was packed! I noticed a mom and her pip-squeak painting some bowls. And it hit me – I could secretly pay for their projects! Tada! That figured out, I leaned in closely to the lady working there and whispered:
“I’m trying to do this whole random acts of kindness thing (so, eloquently worded, right?). ” As I mysteriously and covertly pointed to the mother/child combo working at the table behind us, I continued: “I’d like to secretly pay for their pottery.”
*insert sneaky grin here*
Pottery Lady: “Ohhh, should I go tell them?”
Me: “Um, no, (silent thought to self: wouldn’t that sort of go against the whole idea of ‘secrecy’?? err!). When they come up to pay, then you can tell them that someone wanted to make their day a little brighter and paid for it then. Just please don’t give her my name.”
Pottery Lady: “Ok. But how will I know how much to charge you? Do you have cash?”
Me: (another silent thought to self: She clearly didn’t finish high school.) “Well, you can see what they’re working on, I’m sure you know the prices of the pieces they are painting, just ring it up now, and I’ll pay with my credit card (Who carried cash anymore?!).”
Pottery Lady: “Oh! Yeah, that’ll work.”
Me: (another silent thought: Ya think?!).
Pottery Lady: click, click, click, tap, tap, tap… “Ok, that’ll be $58.25.
Me: And my jaw dropped a little as my eyes got big: “Wow, that’s a pretty expensive random act of kindness. How about if I just pay for the kid’s project instead.”
Pottery Lady: “But how would I do that?”
Me: (silent thought: Holy Hell, this is a smart one I’m dealing with!) “Just ring up the kid’s project and I’ll pay for that. It’s really not that hard.”
Pottery Lady: “Oh! Okay!”
All right, well, crap, that’s done! As my little one and I walked to the car, he was feeling very happy about what we’d done and he excitedly told me that HE want’s to do something nice for someone too!
Hey, Hey, I gotta say, my slight annoyance with the dim pottery lady aside, it felt really good to think about how I’d just brightened someone’s day, all without expecting anything in return. This random acts of kindness thing – I’m really digging it, and to see that my young son is learning how to be kind to others – well, that’s a double, no, wait, a triple bonus!
“Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re a fake. It means you are mature enough to tolerate your dislike towards them.”
My family and I went for a drive to the city today. It wasn’t an especially nice part of the city, but when in Rome (I’m not actually in ROME, it’s just a saying, peeps) you kind of want to see Rome, not just the pretty stuff, but the nitty gritty stuff too.
Anywho, we pulled up to our destination, and I was extremely thankful I wasn’t the driver. Some forms of parallel parking I can handle, but not when you have precisely two inches on the front and back side of you to squeeze in. I leave that sort of maneuvering to my Pollyanna husband.
Not wanting to get hit by oncoming traffic I squeezed out of the right side of the car, over my son’s car seat. I think I made a sound sort of like… grr..uh..umpfh.. on the way out. Much to my dismay, I looked down and some douche-bag had left an empty bottle of cheap wine on the ground! It was right where it could roll onto the street and cause an innocent person’s tires to wind up slashed. So annoying! So rude! Ohhhhhh, wait a minute!!! Lightbulb moment! Soooooo a chance to do a good deed!! An opportunity to perform a random act of kindness presented itself – fell into my lap, even!
Not knowing who had touched it last I gingerly lifted the bottle up with two fingers and looked around me. I looked to the left. I looked to the right. No trashcan nearby, but the city had placed these sort of plastic planter type things around some strategically placed trees. So I set the wine bottle in the planter and felt very proud of myself. And immediately drowned my hands in hand sanitizer (I always carry some in my purse!).
My family and I walked down the street, doing our thing and when we were done, we walked back to the car, as any normal family would do.
When we got to our car, my husband’s eyes fell to the wine bottle in the tree planter.
Quizzically he looked at and said something like “In the planter? Why not in the trashcan?”
Me: ” There’s no trashcan around, and I sure don’t want to put it in my car, who knows what kind of germs are on it?!”
Pollyanna husband: “There’s a trashcan just half a block that way” (he pointed down the street).
Me: (Did I mention at this point it was drizzling? Well, it was, and any moment that drizzle could turn into a downpour! A deluge I tell ya!) I scrunched my face up at him and said something super cool like: “Uh!” or it might have been “Guh!”
And I climbed over the car seat back into the car, done with that conversation. Still taking baby steps, but hey, I do think this counts. I potentially saved someone from a lethal cut or flat tire, or worse! I feel good!
“It’s not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts.”
Besides being a former pessimist turned positive thinker, I also suffer from the occasional sleepless night. Well, I WAS asleep, but then woke up at 4:30 ish AM. Um, when has getting on a computer in the middle of the night ever in the history of internet usage helped a person fall asleep? Yeah, it didn’t really work.
So I’m awake, and I’m trying to think of what kind of random act of kindness I can do next. Funny, I guess it’s sort of a lie right off the bat, as thinking of something to do sort of takes the randomness of it out of the equation. Doesn’t it?
Well no use splitting hairs about it. So, as I was sitting there going pee, as I often do when I first wake up, I thought to myself, hmmmm, I’ll do something super, dooper nice! So I put a new roll of toilet paper up so my husband wouldn’t get stuck doing it.
That counts as an act of kindness, right?
Maybe not, but hey, the day is early. And I mean EARLY, I’ll have to see what else I can come up with.
” Maybe you don’t like your job, maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, well nobody likes their job, nobody got enough sleep. Maybe you just had the worst day of your life, but you know, there’s no escape, there’s no excuse, so just suck up and be nice.” ~ Ani DiFranco
So look, I’m not trying to be a hero here. I just want to be a better person. Straight up I’m here to say that I was born a pessimist. However, for the past few years or so, I’ve really made a conscious effort to be optimistic. Funny though, when in full on pessimist mode, I’d never, ever admit it. I’d call myself a realist! Which, ya know, felt true. I think most pessimists don’t want to admit they are negative, but until you can say the words out loud, then you can never hope to make changes. That can actually apply to many things! You can’t change what you won’t admit needs to be changed! Or some jive like that.
Since admittance is the first step to real and lasting change, I’ll start my very first post by standing up…
and introducing myself:
Hi, my name is Heather. I’m a pessimist turned optimist, with occasional set-backs. I’m married to a Pollyanna sort of man who has permanent rose colored glasses on. He makes me want to be a better person (no gagging sounds now, I have to let loose with some mush on occasion!). From this day forward I’m going to do what I can to be a nicer, kindlier, gentler person, and do my very best to keep ideas of throat-punching obnoxious people out of my thought process. I’m going to use this blog to keep myself accountable.
Let the Random Acts of Kindness Begin!
……………………..Starting first thing tomorrow!
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.”