Following along with the post about respect for others, I would like to encourage you to find simple ways to show kindness to others. Sometimes we get so busy in our daily lives, rushing here and there, having more things to do than hours in the day, and we don’t take the time to extend simple kindness merely because we haven’t left ourselves the time.
If we can’t slow down long enough to notice that there’s a person right behind us with their hands full, it won’t occur to us to invest the extra few seconds to hold the door for them. If we walk around with our eyes glued to our smart phones 24/7, we won’t realize that there are people all around us who could use a tiny pick-me-up. It will cost us something. Usually time, and sometimes a minimal amount of money. I’m not telling you to go pay off a random stranger’s mortgage. But even the tiniest things can brighten someone else’s day, and give us a boost as well. Making someone else smile is a fantastic reward for a few seconds of time.
Here’s one important point, though. Don’t do it with an expectation of adulation. The purpose is not to get others to notice your “good deed” and praise you for it. If it’s something you can do anonymously, do. If not, remember that your mission is to bless someone else, not to get a pat on the back. Let someone borrow your truck. Rake someones’ leaves or shovel their snow. Do something for a family member or house mate that they normally have to do. But don’t feel let down if they don’t heap praises on you. I have known far too many people who do “nice” things for others solely for the ego stroking that they think they deserve.
So I challenge you (and myself) to make a conscious decision to look for opportunities to bless someone else this week. Hold the door for someone. Pay for the latte of the person behind you in line. Let the other person take the taxi or the parking space. Make a meal for a friend who’s been sick. You’ll find if you make a point of looking for ways to commit a random act of kindness, you’ll find lots of opportunities. It doesn’t have to be big and elaborate, and it doesn’t have to be all day, every day. But every time we lift someone up, we make our little corner of the world just a tiny bit better.
Check out this Dare to Be an Angel task list for more ideas. Feel free to make more suggestions of your own. Be creative! The more you practice looking for new ways to be helpful, the easier it will become.
Have you ever been struck by a random act of kindness? Please share it with the rest of us!