I won’t be so overly dramatic as to insinuate that I wasn’t a kind person before I encountered the phenomenon known as Random Acts. But I will tell you, they provide a great structure for being more intentionally kind, more often. For today’s blog post, I want to tell you about the first thing I did “for” Random Acts.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the major events Random Acts organizes each year is the Annual Melee of Kindness. People across the world make time on that day to do an act of kindness for someone else. Some collected food for homeless shelters, while others gave flowers to people they met on the street. Since I was doing this for the first time, and by myself, I chose to something smaller and a bit more anonymous. I bought a bunch of simple notecards, and wrote short affirmations on them. Then I headed out to a local bookstore and hid the notes inside random books there. I narrowly escaped getting caught by the booksellers, which I considered a personal victory.
When I wrote out the cards, I chose what I thought were fairly general sentiments. But when I found myself holding a book about learning a new language, I knew the right card was “You are smart enough”. When I found a book aimed at first-time parents, I could say, “I believe in you”. And on and on. Obviously, I have no idea who found any of those cards, or what happened next. But I like to think some are still hiding in a book somewhere, waiting for the right person.
At the end of each AMOK, Random Acts asks participants to fill out a form describing what they did. I figured it was mostly for research or statistics or whatever. And it probably is. But I also got a really sweet email response, specifically about what I did–not a form email or “canned” response. I was floored that such a small act of kindness received such a personal response. It truly made me feel valued as a person, not as a number, or a source of income, or whatever. I’ve given a lot of my time to a number of organizations over the years, and I can honestly say that Random Acts is where I feel most appreciated.
And to say thank you, I’m donating my birthday to Random Acts through CrowdRise! From now until September 21, you can give a little to help a lot. Just visit my page on CrowdRise.com – any amount is appreciated, and sharing is appreciated too.