Random Acts of Kindness
So many thoughts rushing through my head right now; I’m not even really sure where to start..but here goes. This year has been somewhat of a whirlwind for me, and for those of you who know me personally, you know what I’m referring to. And for those who “know” me just through my blog, it’s been a pleasure sharing my thoughts, my photos, my ideas, etc. over the last few months..and thank you for following along.
In short, I experienced a life-changing incident this year, one that opened my eyes to the simplicity of things in life that most of us often ignore or take for granted. And if I can say one good thing about going through a horrible experience, it’s just that. It’s one good thing. Everything is one good thing. No matter how hard your struggles are or how difficult your day might be, someone out there is ALWAYS going through something much harder. And while it certainly does not lessen the importance of taking care of your worries or your fears, and while it certainly doesn’t mean they don’t matter, it’s always important to remember what’s good. Even if it’s just one good thing.
Because of this year, and the upcoming holidays in general, I’ve been in a very “What random act of kindness can I do today?” mood. And after my incident, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m in this mood for the rest of my life. Sometimes, my random act of kindness is giving up my seat for someone on the bus that looks more tired than me – even after I’ve spent a stressful 10-12 hour workday in heels. Sometimes, it’s giving cash to a homeless person who needs just a bit of help.
A few days ago, it was buying a complete stranger lunch. I was walking back to my office after a doctor appointment, and I passed a man who asked me if I had any spare change. As I walked by him, I responded, “I’m really sorry; I don’t have any cash on me,” and I kept walking. I made it about a half a block, and I stopped. Shook my head. Turned around.
I walked up to him and said, “I’m sorry; I don’t have any cash on me. But can I buy you lunch?” His eyes lit up, and I’m not sure if they sparkled because he was so happy to receive such an offer – and to be spoken to like a regular human – or if it was because his was teary-eyed.
We walked into the McDonald’s he was standing outside of, and he asked me with absurdly polite manners if he might have a “Number 2 with a High-C”. I’ll never forget that order. I nodded yes even before the cashier finished his sentence about whether I wanted the full, “large” meal, paid for the food, and handed the man the receipt so he could wait for his order. I touched his arm, said “God Bless You,” and walked out. That $7 in retrospect means absolutely nothing to me. And to that man, it may have meant the world. And that’s what random acts of kindness are all about. Giving someone the world – even if it’s just for a few minutes. And someone certainly gave me the world a few months ago.
As for the above (first) photo, it’s quite well known, and I see it all over the internet. I’ve also had the pleasure of seeing it and photographing it in person multiple times. It’s a hand-painted sign that sits outside a home in Greenwich Village, and the quote is something that I now live by, as we all should. “If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we just might set the world in the right direction.” Perfect.
On a small side note, I find and follow bloggers quite quickly, but I also un-follow them just as fast..especially if there’s no emotion or intellect behind any of their posts. If I feel no personal connection – if I can’t hear their “voice”, I’m instantly disinterested. While looking at nice clothing and great outfits is fun, I can do that by flipping through a magazine or looking at retail websites. The most important part of a blog (aside from the general content, of course), is a voice. Half of this job is writing, and I certainly don’t want to be following a blog if there’s none. Hence this post today and my short ramblings about my personal life (but nothing too personal) in other posts.
I (clearly) woke up on a very inspired side of my bed this morning, (or yesterday, by the time this goes live and you’re reading it). I feel no need to share any news about fun outfits, great sales, or anything else related to social media at all. Sometimes – we need to push that all aside and concentrate on the really good things. Like kindness.
Random acts of kindness. It’s contagious, and I hope you catch it.