Word Of the Week #62: Kindness

May 12, 2009 by  

Kindness – the gentle act of being considerate, thoughtful, and compassionate toward others.

You’ve heard the expression, “Random Acts of Kindness.” Can you remember the last time you received one or gave one?

What I find, is that every time I do a “Random Act of Kindness” someone does it back to me. And vice versa. If someone does something nice for me that is totally unexpected, I want to reciprocate.

Well, what I think is really fun is when you do “Random Acts of Kindness” to complete strangers. For example, at my local Post Office the box is on the passenger side when I drive up. That means I have to get out of my car to put mail in the slot unless I have company in the car. A wonderful “Random Act of Kindness” is to get out and go back to the car behind me and put their mail in the box for them. People are so surprised and grateful when I do it. And the last time I went to drop off mail someone did it for me!

Then I went to the grocery store to buy corn on the cob and the lady in front of me said, “Oh, I need a baggie.” To which I replied, “Here, take mine.” She was so sweet and thanked me profusely. It made me smile and feel good! It made her smile too!

For those of you reading this who do “Random Acts of Kindness” you know what I am talking about. For those of you who don’t, it’s time to start! The world would be a better place if more people showed kindness.

This week create “Random Acts of Kindness.” Start with the people closest to you, trust me they will love it! And then have some fun with complete strangers. How does it make you feel to be deliberately kind to someone else?

Reader Responses

“Hi Susan, I really liked this one, and have tried to practice Random Acts of Kindness for many years. I find if I start my day with a little prayer like ” I greet this day with love in my heart. Show me how to love and serve today”, that the opportunities practically leap out at you… Here’s a new vocabulary word that I received recently: LIQUIDITY… When you look at your investments and wet your pants! Keep up the good work. I’m still in love with my Chilean wife Ani and living the good life down here in Yelapa. We should be back at Lake Tahoe by late May…Hasta luego.” – Bob

” I look at the random acts of kindness as an unexpected courtesy. In other words, thinking of others who do not expect the courtesy granted. Taking that extra step to do something that we should probably be doing anyway – without having to think about it. I believe the phrase “random acts of kindness” really trivializes what should really be basic courtesies in our lives. However, because we are so “connected” technologically with everything we have to do during the day so we get everything done in record time, that we often times forget the simple, basic courtesies and kindnesses that should be the rule rather than the exception. I have always been a big believer in what goes around, comes around. The way that we treat others in our lives, regardless of their station, does come back to us in ways that we can never see. One of the troublesome things my wife Kristen and I have noticed, is that fewer young people are saying a simple “thank you” when we or others have done something for them. That is a troubling development in this day and age. It is almost as if the gift was expected and the thank you is “understood,” so there is no need to send a note or pick up the phone. When I was single, I always remembered my friends’ kids’ birthdays by sending a card. I can’t tell you how many times where the parents of these young children never called to say thank you. To me, that is basic courtesy. These mothers are the ones who are training these kids for the future. That is worrisome and troublesome to me. But I think if we take the time to be courteous and practice those random acts of kindness, maybe people will notice.” — Joe Moran

“I am always inspired by your mailings; this is another one I’ll put up where I can see it everyday. Thank you for this. It’s nice. We do need to be reminded that our world really will be a better place if more folks took the time to be loving to one another without expecting anything in
return.”– Holly Gensaw