Have you ever been on the receiving end of a RAOK (Random Act of Kindness?) You can’t help that cheesy smile that appears on your face and a sensation that someone did this just for you. I have a feeling the person on the giving end feels equally as good. This is the beauty of kindness. Everybody wins! This past year I was inspired by a friend who celebrated her birthday by performing a random act of kindness for each year of her life. How wonderful is that? Most of us spend our birthdays focused on me; what did I get, what do I want to do, etc. Instead, my friend focused her entire day on kindness towards others. If we all could take even a fraction of this attitude into our daily life, imagine how nice the world would be.
RAOK’s can most certainly be incorporated into your everyday life. In fact, they may subconsciously be there already. Perhaps it’s holding the door open for the person behind you who has their hands full, or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. February 17th is Random Act of Kindness Day. My challenge to you is to use this holiday to consciously perform a RAOK. I promise it will make you feel good! Here are some guidelines & suggestions to get you started:
1. Plan a few ROAK’s ahead of time, but remember to seize the opportunities in front of you! (A lady drops a coupon from her grocery cart? Pick it up for her.)
2. Pick an act that means something to you. For example, my friend is a fellow military spouse and she placed coffee gift cards inside military handbooks at a library.
3. Use your talents. Do you love to bake? Are you great with kids? Do you play a particular sport?
4. Make it clear that this act is for the recipient. For example, if I find money taped to a drink machine, I don’t want to feel like I’m stealing by taking it. A simple, ‘This is a random act of kindness for YOU!’ will do.
5. Be creative! Here are some ideas for random acts of kindness. Let your imagination run wild!
-Pay for the person behind you at a drive-thru.
-Clean out your pantry and donate what you can to the local food pantry.
-Tape quarters for a drink to a drink machine.
-Offer a couple of hours of free babysitting to parents.
-Donate used books to a library.
-Bake cookies for your local fire/police dept.
-Say ‘Good Morning’ to someone on your way to work.
-Help your neighbor mow the grass or shovel the snow.
-Call a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, just to see how they are doing.