The first reference I had ever heard using the term “random acts of kindness” was in a movie I saw many years ago, “Pay It Forward“. In the movie, a young boy encourages others to perform random acts of kindness after his teacher did something very nice for him. Part of the project is not only the act of kindness but for the person to also “pay it forward” and encourage the person involved to also repeat the action for someone else. The idea is that this will make the world a better place one person at a time. I was amazed at the concept and loved the movie, but years later when I was teaching inner city school, it was announced that there would be an assembly. The speaker was one of the directors with the Pay It Forward organization. I discovered that the organization worked with the students to encourage kindness and sharing through random acts of kindness. I had the overwhelming reaction of what a wonderful idea not only the organization is but that they would target inner city schools where often fighting and bullying is common place.
I remember acts of kindness that have been bestowed on me through my life many were by friends and family, but the ones from people you don’t know and are so unexpected are pressed into your memory. Once when I had to take a leave of absence from my teaching job, a church in the community left me a gift bag and an encouraging note saying that thing would get better, just have faith. I did not know anyone in this church nor had ever attended their services. I still carry the note in my wallet because I want to be reminded of the feeling it gave me.
Other examples of random kindness can be found through volunteerism. There are many volunteers that unselfishly give their time on a regular basis to encourage helping others. This includes people who volunteer in food banks, churches, the Red Cross, the United Way and many others. the important thing to remember is that everyone can take part and it does not cost anything to participate. Kindness encourages the world to become a better place.
Please visit the Random Acts of Kindness blogspot: