Gifts of Kindness

Commit Random Kindness & Senseless Acts of BeautyImage by tajasel via Flickr

"Commit Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty," announced the bumper sticker on a car that passed me on the highway over 20 years ago.  My first reactions was, "Cool!"  My second reaction was, "Ya, easier said than done!"

Since that time, I have attempted to give the gift of kindness (randomly, of course) in ways that were not obvious or planned - thus random!  For instance, back when I lived in Maine, I would often pay the toll of the person behind me.  

There are many ways to give kindness randomly.  Here are a few:
  • leave flowers at the front door of an elderly neighbor (or have the florist deliver them anonymously)
  • make cookies, brownies or some other simple food for the fire, police, or emergency workers in your town
  • try to shovel out a neighbor's walk before they notice
  • send a note (the kind you write by hand, the old fashioned way) to your favorite teacher, clergy or medical work letting them know how much they have helped you
  • Take food to a friend who is sick
  • Go visit an elderly friend or relative and spend time actively listening to them
Teaching children to do random acts of kindness can also be a gift.  My Sunday school class, back when the girls were very young, made cookies for the toll takers at Christmas, delivering them to the office beside the toll booths.  They also raked the leaves for an elderly member of the church one day.  She was so surprised and pleased that she nearly was in tears to think that the kids would spend time cleaning her yard instead of playing.

The thing is, you don't have to be extravagant.  You can simply give your time, your presence, which is the greatest gift to give.

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