Random Acts of Kindness – Day 30: Pay It Forward

Welcome to Day 30 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. Thank you to everyone who joined me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. We encourage you to keep going, not only for yourself but also to keep the good energy flowing.

Here we are at the end of April.  One Month!  It seems like the month has flown by. I guess when you’re doing good deeds and feeling good, time doesn’t stand still. I haven’t really kept track of all the things I’ve done. After about a week it just became part of the norm to find ways to do kind gestures for others. One Act. I have to say it has been a wonderful experience. I will continue to do this to the best of my ability for as long as others will allow me to do something nice for them. Every Day.

One of the things that I’ve learned through this Random Acts of Kindness Challenge is that my little bits of kindness have encouraged people to keep it going. To pay it forward. Wanting to do something good for someone else because someone did something nice for them. And the world is a better place when we all find some way to act with kindness, whether randomly or with purpose.

I will leave you with this quote by Og Mandino. I never had the privilege of meeting him, but I know his son, Matt. Matt used to work with CycleGuy ‘back in the day’. Matt is a nice guy, and he and his wife were at our wedding. And I wonder if maybe, just maybe, Og Mandino was somehow at our wedding too.

Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were
going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care,
kindness and understanding you can muster and do it
with no thought of reward. Your life will never be the same.
~ Og Mandino


Sara

Random Act of Kindess Challenge: Day 29 – Kindness Has No End

Welcome to Day 29 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, there is still one full day left in the month so please let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well. Also, use it as a reminder to yourself and your readers do something nice each day.

How quickly this month has gone by. I remember chatting with Valerie at the beginning of the month, and frantically trying to figure out how to get the button done. Thanks to Honey, it was done quickly and expertly! And we were off and running. Encouraging others to do one kind act for someone each day. Reminding ourselves to do the same.
I have to say it has been a wonderful experience. I will continue to do this to the best of my ability for as long as others will allow me to do something nice for them.

During these past 29 days I have made an extra effort to visit new blog and leave comments. I have made sure to tell those bloggers that I read daily how much I appreciate their efforts. I have held open doors and have let people go ahead of me. I have smiled when I didn’t feel like it, and I even returned a phone call to a woman who had dialed the wrong number looking for her cousin to share some good news.

I have to say that I don’t feel like I have done anything spectacular on any one day. However, I do see that my purposefulness in making an effort each and every day to be kind has made an impact on others.  For sure, it has made an impact on me.  Maybe I’m just noticing the kind acts others are doing. Or maybe my kindness is being reflected to me. Whatever it is, I like it! I like that kindness and niceness are still prized and cherished. I appreciate that others see the value in doing something nice for another without expectation of something in return.

On this penultimate day of the Random Act of Kindness Challenge, I thank YOU for every act you have taken to better your and someone else’s day.

I leave you with this. Kindness has no boundaries, nor does it have an end. Just because we’re ending April soon does not mean you can’t continue with your newfound daily kindness habit. Imagine all the joy you’d be missing out on if you stopped!

Sara

Random Act of Kindness Challenge: Day 26 Other-Mother’s Day

Welcome to Day 26 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, there are still a few days left in the month so please let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

Mother’s Day is right around the corner, May 9th to be exact. Just about two week from now. Most everyone will call or send flowers or a card to mom. It’s one of the biggest eating-out days of the year. Who can blame you for taking mom out to dinner. No one wants mom to slave over a hot stove all day on HER day.

For some of us, though, we don’t have a mom to celebrate. My mom passed away nearly 19 years ago.  Wow, just typing seems impossible.  19-years.  I miss her dearly each and every day. And Mother’s Day is no exception. Actually, I miss her more because now that I am a mom I’d love to have her and my grandma with me on Mother’s Day so we could do one of those generational photos. Well, for more than just that reason, but that would be cool.  Instead, I have my memories.

But even though my biological mom is deceased, I so still have my Other-Mother. An Other-Mother is a woman who has been like a mom but isn’t your mom. Other-Mothers have a special place, never to take the place of a mom, in our hearts. My Other-Mother’s name is JoAnn. I love her like a mom. I don’t get to see her all the time, but I talk to her periodically and share my life with her. Just seeing her name on my caller-id, I get all smiley.

JoAnn never had children of her own. Every mother’s day for the last 15 or so years I have sent her a special card letting her know how much she means to me and how much I love her. And this year will be no different.  As a matter of fact, I think I’ll get her card ready today.

Do you have a special woman in your life that is an Other-Mother? If so, write her out a special card and let her know how you feel. Mother’s Day is a celebration of all the motherly women in our lives.  Mothers and Other-Mothers alike.

Sara

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge: Day 25 – Selfless Acts

Welcome to Day 25 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, there are still a few days left in the month so please let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

For many people, Sunday is a day of rest. A day of being with family. A day of worship. A day of relaxation. As every other day, though, it is a day in which each of us can make a difference. One day to do one act that is completely selfless and done without any expectation of repayment.

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profundity.
Kindness in giving creates love.
– Lao Tzu

Sara

Random Act of Kindness Challenge – Day 21: The Silver Lining

Welcome to Day 21 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

I had thought of doing this post as a Wordless Wednesday because, well, I’m sad and didn’t want to talk about my random act of car accident. Instead, as I posted about my car accident on my (personal) Facebook page I realized that there was a silver lining to my accident today.

Here’s the story: I was on my way to teach about Australia culture. I came to a read light and stopped. As the light turned green the car in front of me went and I took my foot off the break. In what was a split second, he put on the brakes and I couldn’t brake fast enough. So I hit the car in front of me. Going all of about 5 miles per hour. No major damage, really. But, with plastic cars as they are today there was some damage to both vehicles.

I got out of the car and was ready with my info when I turned around to get my cell phone and there was a police cruiser behind me. He just happened upon this little fender bender. Lucky him!

He stopped traffic so we could move out vehicles out of the way and exchange information in a safer location. Easy enough. I had already called CycleGuy and told him I had hit a car. And I didn’t cry! I was composed. Freaked out, but composed. Luckily, BabyGirl and her friend were strapped in well in the back seat playing with their bears and were not injured. Actually, I don’t think anyone was injured but I won’t even go there.

Officer Awesome handed us each a paper on which to fill out our required info – Name, Address, Driver’s License, Vehicle Info, Phone. Pretty much everything you’d need for identity theft, if you ask me. But you didn’t. Anyway, it’s part of his job. So I filled it out and gave it back to the officer.

With my trusty iPhone in hand, I started taking photos of the people in the other car as well as the vehicles. Need to document this stuff! There is a small crack in the other car by the license plate but it’s all one piece so the entire back bumper will likely need to be replaced. And since I was going a mere 4 or 5 miles per hour, I seriously doubt that my Mini Cooper did any other damage. But, we’ll see what is claimed.

Officer Awesome talks to us and tells us all our options about who to call and getting bids. He then hands us the other driver’s paperwork and said we’re free to go. Although I don’t believe him and say ‘Really?’ Then he goes into an explanation of how this is minor damage and accidents happen and we just need to be nice to each other and we look like good and upstanding citizens so he’s not writing up an accident report or calling anyone else out. Really?

He suggests the other drive go in to the convenience store to buy a disposable camera to take pictures but they don’t, saying that they’ll just get my pictures. I’ve taken about 9 pictures of them and their car. And Officer Awesome tells them that I don’t have to give over my photos. He knows his stuff!

So, in all of this, CycleGuy was very pragmatic and supportive. He offered me statistics about car accidents and laws of averages. He gave me the ‘accidents happen’ speech. And I’m thankful for all of that because I am shaken by this. I don’t like making mistakes. Not. One. Bit.

Could there be a silver lining to this car accident? Could I find something to be thankful for in addition to the fact that no one was injured? And I did. I was not ticketed! Officer Awesome did not give me a citation for the accident.

Maybe it was his Random Act of Kindness. Maybe he just didn’t want to deal with all the paperwork. Possibly he saw me as being the upstanding citizen that I am. Regardless of why, I’m thankful that I did not get a ticket.

In case you’re wondering what my car looked like after, here’s a picture of the front of my Mini Cooper. Not too bad, eh?

Sara

Random Act of Kindness Challenge – Day 17: Simple Compliments

Welcome to Day 17 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

Has anyone every said ‘Thank you’ to you and it just made you feel terrific? If you’ve ever been on the path of losing weight, didn’t it make you feel amazing when someone complimented you on how you looked or how much they admire you for sticking to your new program despite all the temptations?
In our very busy and often tech-heavy days we forget how much simple compliments can do to improve our day or that of someone we meet. Whether it’s at the store, the park, the movies, on-line with Twitter, Facebook or a favorite blog, your few words of kindness can really mean so much.
I’ve had the pleasure of working retail back in my 20s. I can’t tell you how many times I would wait on a customer and they’d never say Thank you. Or, even worse, they would stand there with a scowl on their face and never make eye contant. There were even frequent customers who I’d do anything to avoid because they were downers. I don’t think they really meant to be that way, but no matter how hard I tried to do nice things there was never any positive feedback. But I wouldn’t let it get to me. Often, I would put a smiley face on their receipt or even write something nice just so they knew I appreciated their business regardless of their mood.

As a homeschooling mom, I rarely travel solo. BabyGirl and I are, as the saying goes, attached at the hip. Whether it’s trying out Morton’s Steakhouse or buying groceries, we’re together during the day. I work very hard to teacher BabyGirl about etiquette and manners, kindness and appropriate public behavior. I have to tell you that when a stranger comes up to me and compliments BabyGirl’s behavior I beam. Knowing that others appreciate my effort and BabyGirl’s manner of carrying herself in public can really boost a mom’s morale.

I know that my actions speak loudly when it comes to teaching BabyGirl. And that is why I try to take the various opportunities presented to me to demonstrate to her — and others watching — that being nice has immense benefits.

As I mentioned yesterday, I signed up at It Starts With Us. Nate has set out a mission to spread love and kindness, both purposefully and randomly. I took psychology and I know how much easier it is for many people to act as part of a group rather than do things on their own, feeling like they – as one person – are not making much of a difference.

Trust me, each of us can make a difference by our individual actions. If though, you’d like to be part of a group urge you to sign up with Nate’s group at It Starts With Us, because I believe that we each have the ability to beautify the world around us.

I thank you for being part of this Random Acts of Kindness Challenge and for making a conscious effort to do good! I’d love to hear how you are making a difference and how doing good has made you feel.

Sara

Random Act of Kindness Challenge – Day 16: Being Part of Something Bigger

Welcome to Day 16 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

A few days ago I came across a website called It Starts With Us. It was started by a guy by the name of Nate in an effort to bring people together to make a positive impact on the lives of others. People have signed up to work together to do good things for others on a large but very personal scale.

The It Starts With Us group has a program called Love Bombs whereby individuals are nominated to receive positive comments and other types of love on one particular day. Imagine feeling down or sharing a particularly challenging time, yet being received with so much love and support. I think we all want to be part of something bigger than we are. Something so amazing and wonderful. I highly encourage you to stop by Nate’s site and see what his project is all about.

There is power in numbers. Great things can be accomplished when like-minded people get together to do good. Often we’d much rather be part of a group than stand up singly. I know there are times when I do something nice but get a negative reaction. Not because they’re not genuinely pleased with my act of kindness, but more likely because they are not used to kindness being given to them. So rather than risk it the next time, I’m much more inclined to help as part of a group.

Whether online or in the ‘real world’, you can make a difference and be part of something bigger. Do you feel there is power in numbers?

Sara

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge – Day 15: US Tax Day

Welcome to Day 15 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

Today, in the US, procrastinating Americans (and others who are legally obligated to file US Taxes) will be hurriedly tabulating and cross-checking tax forms to ensure correctness. Most, fortunately, will eFile and spare us the mad dash to the post office at ten minutes to midnight. But who in their right mind thinks it’s cool putting the works kindness and taxes together. Me! And, why not.

In the spirit of all things kind, I hope you will find a moment to see the joy in this annual spring rite. Rather than curse the US tax system, government or revenue employees be thankful that you have a reason to file taxes. Appreciate that you have the knowledge and ability to complete these forms and do so without undertaking any of the varieties of self-inflicted death.

And if you happen to be heading out to the nearest post office, leave in sufficient time so you don’t have to break any traffic laws to ensure timely delivery. Don’t cut off other cars because you’re in a hurry. Don’t curse anyone because you’re out at nearly midnight and you’re cranky and tired.

Instead, say thank you to the postal worker who is waiting to take your return and deliver it swiftly to the IRS. But if you have already filed your taxes and are sitting back laughing at us procrastinator, offer us a gentle smile and pretend to know our pain. For one day you may be in the same boat and you don’t want us throwing you overboard.

I eFiled last night. When did you file your taxes?

And let us now all breathe a collective sigh of relief!

Sara

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge – Day 13: Declutter and Support Local Charities


Welcome to Day 12 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

While perusing the interwebs today, I came across a university hosting a formal kindness week. West Virginia University sponsored Random Acts of Kindness Week back in February. The university reported having tremendous success with their various programs. One of the Acts of Kindness was collecting DVDs and donating them to the local Children’s Hospital.

I know we all have DVDs that we don’t watch and haven’t for quite some time. Many of us have kid programs that our children outgrew years ago. Now might be the best time to gather up these unused DVDs and donate them to a local charity. It could be your local children’s hospital or woman’s shelter. There are numerous possibilities for your DVDs to be enjoyed once again.

Since Tax Day is this Thursday, get a head start on next year’s taxes and declutter you DVDs today and get your tax deduction today by showing spreading kindness by donating to your local charity.

Is there a specific charity you support? How will you give new life to your old DVDs?

Sara

Random Acts of Kindness Challenge – Day 12: Purposefulness


Welcome to Day 12 of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. I’m thrilled at the number of people who have decided to join me and Valerie in our goal to find small but meaningful ways to spread kindness. If you haven’t already grabbed our button, please do so and let everyone know you’re doing your part to make each day as nice as can be not just for you but for others as well.

For the past week and a half I’ve been encouraging you to seek out opportunities to be kind to someone ‘just because’. However, today I’d like to suggest the idea of purposefulness. Being purposeful mean acting with intent. Planning ahead.

Doing good, purposefully, is a wonderful way to show someone just how much they mean to you. Often the people with whom we interact daily are taken for granted. We expect our kids to do their chores and help around the house. Our spouse or partner is assumed to be available if we need. Our friends are usually just a phone call away. Co-workers, parents, and so many others are taken for granted. Maybe a half-hearted thank you is spoken, but no a true expression of our appreciation.

Today, I propose that we each act with purposefulness and take an extra moment with each of those people in our lives that are important to us to show our appreciation. Spreading kindness with purpose is no less significant, especially when it is toward those we love and care about the most.

How will you show your kindness today? I will show mine by saying thank you, wholeheartedly, for visiting my blog and being part of this challenge to spread kindness both randomly and purposefully.

Sara