National Random Acts of Kindness Day

The quote, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” by author Anne Herbert has become a catch phrase. But I didn’t know it was an actual Day! When did this happen?

I love the idea of a day like this. Sure, we all want to practice random acts of kindness on a daily basis, but this way, it becomes a Thing.

Today I asked some of my Facebook friends what they did to commemorate Random Acts of Kindness. Here is what I learned:

  • Sarah cut her hair and donated 12.5 inches’ worth of blonde tresses to Wigs for Kids.
  • Tori called the campus police today to tell them someone’s lights had been left on.
  • Karen paid for another person’s order at a drive thru.
  • Shannon loaned a coworker the money for parking this morning.
  • Jill bought chicken feed for her sister in law, cat food for her friends, and gave away some of her farm eggs.

A couple of these kindness acts were actually gestures for me!

  • Jennifer bought me lunch.
  • Matt ordered a painting for a friend whose dog had just died.
  • I received a greeting card, hand-decorated in bright colors, and a bag of ginger peach tea from Mary Beth.

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The list went on throughout the day.

  • Allison saw an older homeless man near a place where she was buying dinner. She bought him dinner, and stopped and gave it to him on her way out.
  • Mary wrote: “Found a five dollar bill in Walmart parking lot. No way to give it to whoever dropped it, but I vowed not to spend it on myself. We went to a get-together of fellow high-school grads, that evening. We all ended up being the last people to leave, although we didn’t eat the entire evening, just a small meal. Most of us left tips, and I left that five dollar bill for the waitress.”
  • Mary Beth picked up a friend’s 92 year old Mom, and took her and her brother to dinner at the social club. Mary Beth’s friend lives in California. She picks up her Mom whenever she can, to go to the monthly dinners.

With the exception of Sarah’s hair sacrifice, most of these acts are likely a regular thing. Brenda said that when she and her family are out on the lake, any time they see someone stranded in a boat, they always stop to help.

Lisa said she wasn’t telling what her random act of kindness was. The attention, she explained, should be on the act, not on who did it.

I admire her principles, mainly because I know firsthand that Lisa is a person who walks the walk. She will go out of her way to be helpful, so much so that she hunts down the need. You don’t even have to ask her.

I think most of the people on my list would have carried these acts out and said nothing. They just gave me the bits of information because I wanted to write about them.

But this is why the Day is important. We need these bits of encouragement. These little stories, glimmers of the human spirit, help us. Hearing about an act of kindness, even when it doesn’t happen to you, can give you a good shot of endorphins. People love the act of helping. We are communal, interactive, interdependent by nature.

It’s especially uplifting to have a day like this, following an extremely unsettling month. But even in the Random Acts the state of society did not go untouched. As his act of kindness, Daryn said, “I made a comment on a pro-Trump post. Then I deleted it.”

Lynn retorted that her act of kindness would be to not comment on that!

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About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
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