When you grow up in a small community, you realize that helping others isn’t something you do, but it’s just the way you are.
Running errands, going to the shop for items missed off the shopping list, helping neighbors with their garden, or cleaning their car gives you a sense of belonging and purpose.
In this modern, high speed world, where it seems hardly anybody knows their neighbors, random acts of kindness are a wonderful way to re-connect you with what’s really important in life.
Random acts of kindness can be defined as, “Something selfless that you do to help another being that they cannot do themselves, without any expectation of reward and without any fanfare or publicity. Just because you can.”
They have the most wonderful ripple effect! It all starts with a smile and a hello, which can be very contagious.
What’s In It For You?
The true reward in carrying out random acts of kindness comes from the feelings of fulfilment and satisfaction you get from helping someone or something. These feelings are both priceless and lasting.
Once you get into it on a conscious level and start looking for people to help, you begin to realize that this is really what life is all about: What we can make of ourselves through service to others, when there is absolutely nothing to be gained by it, other than what it can make of you as a person.
As soon as your awareness is activated, you start seeing opportunities for random acts of kindness everywhere. It will make you think differently, right from the get-go, and once you start taking advantage of those opportunities to help, it will change you as a person, for the better.
You can add some panache to your random acts of kindness by carrying them out without the recipient knowing.
Consider this story…
The Teenagers and the Elderly Lady
A group of teenagers had an elderly lady living on their street who had not painted her house for 30 years.
They noticed that every Thursday morning she went somewhere on the bus and didn’t come home until 6 pm in the evening. So, with military precision, they planned to jet-wash her entire house, clean the brickwork and paint the house starting as soon as she got on the bus the next Thursday morning, and be finished by the time she got home in the evening.
Sure enough, the old lady stuck to her routine. She got off the bus and at about 6 pm, she came walking down the road. The team were hiding in the garden opposite to see what happened.
She didn’t notice that her house had been painted until she walked through the front gate. She immediately turned and walked out again because she thought she was in the wrong house. She stared at the house in disbelief and looked up and down the empty street trying to make some sense of it.
Eventually she put her key in the door and went inside. Everyone in the street knew what had happened, but nobody said a thing.
The teenagers got such a kick out of their secret random act of kindness that they returned the following Thursday to dig and plant the garden!
There’s definitely a buzz to helping people!
How Can You Start?
Once you get started, doing random acts of kindness becomes a welcome and satisfying lifestyle!
Try these techniques:
1. Start small. Smile at people and say hello at every opportunity. You might be the only person who has acknowledged them that week.
2. Then, just pick up a piece of trash when you see it, rather than leave it blowing in the wind.
3. Stop and talk with older people.
- There is much to learn from old folks and talking is one of the few things they can easily engage in during later years.
- We will all be there soon enough, and when we do arrive, we will be grateful for the people that acknowledge our worth in the community.
4. Open a door for someone.
5. Carry some groceries.
6. Help someone down the steps or across the road.
It’s Addictive and Contagious
The more you do it the better you will feel, and the more you do it, the more others will follow your lead.
Take full responsibility for how and where you show up in life. Do the right thing for no other reason than the fact that you CAN. Especially when nobody is watching.
It’s called Integrity and that can only come from conducting yourself with a high moral code by working from the heart, not the head.
Try it…you will be SO glad you did!