My Birthday Wish: Day Three – What’s “AMOK”?

My birthday wish this year is to gather as much support for one of my favorite organizations, Random Acts. So from now until my birthday, I’m running a Crowdrise fundraiser to collect donations to help fund their mission of conquering the world one random act of kindness at a time.

The Annual Melee of Kindness

One of Random Acts’ biggest events is the Annual Melee of Kindness (AMOK), where friends and supporters spend the day–or even the entire weekend!–spreading kindness in all kinds of wonderful ways. (Pictured here is my friend Jean; more on her tomorrow!) I’ve participated in AMOK twice now, and have enjoyed two very different experiences.

The first year I was very stealthy and snuck handwritten cards with positive messages on them into books at a local bookstore. It was really a pretty simple idea, but I have to admit I had a moment or two when I was holding a book about parenting in my hands and slipping in a card that read, “I believe in you”. Or holding a book about learning a new language, with a card that read, “you’re smart enough” in my other hand. What was really happening, I think, was that I was still pretty new to the whole being kind thing, and preferred to stay anonymous rather than have people look at me funny. Because honestly? Intentional acts of kindness still provoke a kind of confused reaction, which to me says we just need more of them. We need kindness to become commonplace.

During AMOK this past year, I was provided the opportunity to join forces with my church and a local nonprofit to spend a day gathering food and supplies and delivering them to needy families in my community. Thankfully, I wasn’t going alone, but it was still a great chance to raise the stakes so to speak, and put myself in front of people in those acts of intentional kindness. Sharing kind acts with friends really does change the experience a lot, and I’m very thankful for that.

What are some things you’ve done to show kindness to other people? Were they friends? Family? Strangers? I’d love to know. Leave a comment here or tweet me at @lisa_cerezo.