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Random Acts of Kindness

Micaela Preston
Author of Practically Green: Your Guide to EcoFriendly Decision Making

Have you ever had someone go out of their way to open a door for you, surprise you by picking up the tab for lunch or shovel your sidewalk after a big snow… or something equally unexpected? If you have (and I bet you have!), then you’ve experienced a random act of kindness.

Last June was Random Acts of Kindness Month in my neighborhood in South Minneapolis. We kept tabs of our daily RAKs (random acts of kindness) and let our neighborhood association know about them. For each and every RAK, a flower was put up on the window of the neighborhood association office. The whole front was covered with flowers!

And what an amazing way to build community! With very little effort, we can make our community a nicer place to live. Most interesting for me was to notice that I tend to dismiss the little things that I do as not a big deal or not worthy of counting as a RAK. But they are important! Imagine a world without random acts of kindness. Not very nice, eh? And now that I’m paying attention, I’m finding that it’s fun to go out of my way to do them.

Here are a few examples of RAKs that anyone can do:

  • Open a door for someone.
  • Give a helping hand when you see someone carrying a lot of stuff.
  • Cook the favorite breakfast of someone you live with.
  • Leave anonymous thank you notes to teachers.
  • Give someone a shoulder rub.
  • Pay for a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line.
  • Invite a friend to the movies or dinner.
  • Say I LOVE YOU.
  • Leave a book you have already finished somewhere for someone else to read.
  • Drop off a toy or game at a homeless shelter.
  • Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  • Drop off flowers at your friend or neighbor’s house.
  • Weed your neighbor’s garden.
  • Shovel for a neighbor in need.

The list goes on and on… Have you committed a random act of kindness today?

Kindness

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