Perform a random act of kindness

It’s often the little things that have the biggest impact on our days. Whether it’s that stranger holding the door for you, your friend sending you flowers “just because,” or your fellow commuter waving you in when you’re trying to change lanes, little acts of kindness are just plain awesome.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is all about making those little gestures an everyday part of your life. A great resource for ideas on spreading awesomeness, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is part of an important movement of more compassionate living.

“The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation inspires people to practice kindness and to pass it on to others. We provide free educational and community ideas, guidance and other resources to kindness participants through our website.” (RAKF website)

They also have a “Kindness Ideas” section on their website  that includes activities such as cleaning up graffiti, donating used books to a library, helping someone with yard work and letting someone go in line in front of you.

A couple incidents come to mind for me. I remember when I was volunteering on the Liberian Refguee Camp in Ghana. My fellow volunteer, Shauna, and I returned to camp after dark and got hopelessly lost trying to find our way back to the guest house amidst the dark, winding alleyways. Just as panic started to set in a man suddenly appeared. Recognizing two lost tourists when he saw them, he graciously guided us back to the guest house. He didn’t ask for anything in return – just gave a friendly “good night” and went back the way he came.

Another time was when I was traveling with my friend, Janele, in Ecuador. We decided to explore the neighbourhood in Guayaquil where we were staying. Walking up a hill, a man on the side of the road started calling out to us in Spanish. I’m sad to admit that my first instinct was to ignore him, suspicious as I was of scams and tourist cons. So we kept walking, pretending we didn’t hear him.

A few minutes later, just as we were about to turn down a side street, the same man pulled up in a car, urging us to stop. In broken English he explained that we didn’t want to go down that street, since it was a particularly seedy part of town. We thanked him profusely and headed in another direction.

What random acts of kindness have you shown other people? What acts have others shown you? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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Josh is the creative force behind Badge of Awesome, where he noodles and doodles about life and the lessons learned from it. He's the author of Simply Blunderful and creator of The Overcoming Obstacles Toolkit.

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