Thursday, November 22, 2012

Random acts of kindness.

Today is   Thanksgiving   (Happy Turkey to you!!),
and the holidays only a few short weeks away.
What better way to get in the spirit by performing a few random acts of kindness?

My mom always used to tell us to do at least one R.A.O.K. per day. 
Not a bad theory, right?
After all, kindness begets kindness.

Need some inspiration? Don't worry, I have plenty,
(35, in fact!)
from simply remembering common courtesy
to performing more elaborate niceties...

35 Random Acts of Kindness
  1. When going through the Starbucks drive-through, pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
  2. If you're in a long line, and the person behind you only has a couple items, invite them to go in front of you.
  3. Shower the pediatric wing of a hospital with coloring books and boxes of new crayons from the dollar store.
  4. Leave your neighbors a note that tells them how much joy you find in admiring their garden, Christmas decor, etc.
  5. Hold doors open for others with a flourish.
  6. Put a sticky note with a positive message (e.g. "You look gorgeous!") on a restroom mirror.
  7. Pick up trash on your evening stroll.
  8. Ask the grocery clerk to apply your unused coupons to another customer's items.
  9. Arrange to pay anonymously for a soldier's breakfast when you see him or her dining alone.
  10. Donate your old professional clothes to an organization (e.g. "Dress for Success") that helps women jump-start their careers...and confidence!
  11. Be the bigger person:  Cede that parking space at the mall.
  12. Check "yes" when asked if you wish to become an organ donor.  (I sincerely pray nothing happens to you, but this single altruistic choice can literally save a dozen lives!)
  13. Give an elderly person or pregnant lady your seat on public transportation.
  14. Don't forget to give your mail carrier a little holiday treat (e.g. $5 gift card) for braving Mother Nature's elements...without them, how would you successfully send/receive your own holiday cheer?
  15. Participate in a holiday gift program for low-income children/families (e.g. Toys for Tots).
  16. Send a thank you note to the brave officers at your local police and/or fire's important to acknowledge the daily risks taken by these men and women to keep your neighborhood safe!
  17. You don't have to wait for Teacher Appreciate Day to thank/compliment your children's teachers/caregivers!
  18. Send "real", heartfelt birthday cards to your friends and family.  Bonus points for being on time!
  19. Fold your husband's laundry and/or make him lunch.  Top it off with a sticky note that says "I love you!"
  20. Bring him coffee in bed while you're at it.
  21. Sing a co-worker's praises to their manager or on a comment card - a little recognition goes a long way.
  22. Donate old cell phones to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
  23. Volunteer at your church.
  24. Forgive someone.  Repeat as necessary.
  25. Leave a copy of a book you love, with a note for the next reader, in a waiting room.
  26. Load extra change into the vending machine or parking meter for the next person.
  27. Send somebody an e-card, just because.  The funnier, the better!
  28. Share happy memories.  Stick an old photo in the mail to a friend with a nice note about the day it was taken.
  29. Relay an overheard compliment.  
  30. On trash day, wheel your neighbor's can to the curb.
  31. Dedicate a song on the radio to someone you know is listening during his or her long commute.
  32. Pause and give people the benefit of the doubt...think before you speak (or type) to avoid unnecessary feather ruffling.
  33. Go ahead and shovel your neighbor's portion of the sidewalk while you're hard at it.
  34. Ask others, sincerely, what you can do to help them in their time of need.
  35. Pray.  Pray for everyone...and never stop!

Performing spontaneous, random acts of kindness gives you a buzz, a rush of goodwill!  It also may release oxytocin - the same brain chemical that surges when you hold your baby or snuggle a puppy - which also temporarily lowers blood pressure.  (Who doesn't need that during the stressful, bustling holiday season?!)
So in a sense, kindness is truly good for your heart.

Look closely and you'll see the generosity of everyday people everywhere.
All we have to do to change our own lives
is pass that kindness on.
So pay it forward, m'loves!

And Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!
I am so thankful for all of you,
and hope you are able to spend the holiday
eating delicious food with the people who matter the most.


~images via pinterest~

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