In honor of GenTwenty’s month of giving back (May 2014) I spent a week doing random, simple acts of kindness. Each day was something different and I found myself really enjoying this week-long challenge. We often overlook the simple acts of kindness because we get so caught up in what is going on in our lives. The beginning of my week started out really easy but I found that as the week went on I would get wrapped up in my life again and overlook opportunities of kindness to others.
Here’s how it went:
Day One I saw a woman asking for money in my neighborhood. Her son was with her and he was about 3 years old and I realized this was the perfect way to start my week of kindness. Normally I do not give money to people on the street but I thought today can be the day I help someone even it was only a few dollars. The woman was very kind and thanked me and it felt good helping her and her son.
Day Two I tried to think a little outside the box. I went to a frozen yogurt place I worked in high school. We used to get tips, though it was never that much it was always nice to go home with a little extra cash. I went in and bought a $2 yogurt and left the girl a $10 tip. She was so happy and had such a big smile on her face it reminded me of when people use to do that for me at her age and how happy I would make me.
Day Three I kept very simple and took the time to tell my mom how much I loved and appreciated her for all that she has done for me. We may tell our moms we love them but sometimes they need to hear why and I know it put a smile on her face.
Day Four I was walking into the gym and held the door for a woman with two kids as she was coming out and smiled at her and told her she had beautiful children. It was funny because she was a little distracted and when she realized what I said she said, “Thank you. You are so sweet.”
Day Five I was in line at Starbucks getting my mid-afternoon caffeine fix, when I told the woman standing behind my I was going to buy her a cup of coffee. She looked at me a little funny and declined my offer but I insisted. She eventually let me buy her a cup and asked me why. I just said because I wanted to do something nice for someone. I told her it was my hope that she would pay it forward one day and she said she would.
By Day Six I had no idea what I was going to do. I was on a date and after dinner we decided to play some games at Dave & Busters and won a bunch of tickets. I am not sure about you but I never actually use those to get anything anymore like when I was a kid. I asked my date if we could give them to a little girl whose bother was taking all her tokens. He was on board with my idea and we got to put a smile on a little girl’s face.
On Day Seven, I did not do something for someone; it was what someone did that put a smile on my face. I work with elementary school children at an after school program in my area. One of the little girls ran up to me when she saw me and hugged me and said she missed me. It gave a sense of joy to know I have a positive impact on her life.
Sometimes the simplest thing can make someone’s day. Tomorrow I challenge all of you to take just a moment out of your day to bring joy to someone’s day. You will walk away feeling just as good as they do. If more people showed kindness towards one another on a daily basis who knows how beautiful this world could really be.