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Do Tell: What Random Acts of Kindness Have You Practiced?

I remember when I first saw the bumper sticker that read, "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty." (Also a book.) I had two responses. The cynic in me: "Oh, give me a break. How corny." The realist: "Why should kind acts be random, or beautiful acts senseless? Why not be deliberate in your generosity and volunteer somewhere — to a homeless shelter, to help the elderly, or to foster kittens?" (OK, fostering kittens would not be a sacrifice! But I digress.)

Now that I'd like to think I'm older and wiser, my response is a little different. I've done volunteer work a couple times, but never for an extended period of time. One of these days, I will do that, but in the meantime, a random act of kindness can remind me of that intention and act as a bridge between the nascent do-gooder and the person who actually devotes time to others.

For example, there's a homeless woman I see almost every day on my way to work. In the past, I've walked by her, feeling awful but doing nothing. Now? I know I can't give her money every day, but sometimes I do, and sometimes, since I'm on a tangerine kick, I'll reach into my satchel and give her one. We now acknowledge each other every morning, and it feels anything but random.

Do you ever practice random acts of kindness? What is your proudest moment?

Join The Conversation
lauragreene97 lauragreene97 5 years
I can't think of my proudest moment regarding random acts of kindness, which probably means I should do so more often! I did just read about a cool event that inspired me to do little things to help others every day- The Kindness Cab ( A man drove across the USA giving free rides to people - obviously that's a large scale example, but is certainly inspiring.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 8 years
yesterday I gave a woman a bottle of water. She was begging people for money in the Publix grocery store parking lot. The heat index was 108 and she looked pretty rough. I couldn't give her money though since I'm unemployed myself. Annoying that she asked for one of my good expensive Wisconsin beers. No way could I part with a Linenkuegal.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 8 years
That's inspiring sparklestar!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
Oh yeah...
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I do them every day. I'm a support worker and it's my job to do nice things for people. Yeaaaah. I also volunteer a LOT. I've been regularly volunteering for about 11 years now. It just makes sense to.
NurseKimberly NurseKimberly 8 years
Just reading these stories makes my heart smile...
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
I wish more of the practices can be conducted on this forum and this community.
death-by-chocolat death-by-chocolat 8 years
Working on a crisis hotline (and in customer service) one thing that I've gotten in the mindset of is trying to make anyone I come in contact with in public feel comfortable and appreciated. You have no idea how many people would call the crisis line struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, and extreme anxiety who would say things like "Today this girl in the grocery store smiled at me and it really made me feel like people care" or "When I was at work one of the customers complimented me, and I thought maybe life is worth it".
MeggyPoodles MeggyPoodles 8 years
pumachik, that story seriously makes me SO SAD. What in the world is wrong with people?!?!? At least you're a good person :)
fakeplanettelex fakeplanettelex 8 years
being in ny, you realize a small act of kindness goes a long way because usually everyone is "too busy" or "in a rush." near my work there is a blind center, so there are a lot of blind people around the area, and it's a pretty congested area. the other day when it was raining, a blind man was asking for someone if he could hold their arm while he crossed the street - of course no one stopped b/c it was raining, so i asked him where he needed to go and it was simply to cross the street. this happened another time near penn station, so many people walking by and a blind man was shouting "can someone please tell me where i am?" and no one would stop! i mean, really? he lost his sense of direction and needed someone to help him get to the nw side of 34th/7th but man, i was bummin that people wouldn't stop at all.
ms-jamerz ms-jamerz 8 years
I feel like it's just an everyday thing. Being kind, generous, helpful and selfless in even the smallest way was how I was raised. These acts will brighten someone's day or could possibly even be enough to change their life.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
I try to just be polite and mind my manners all the time. It seems that people have just forgotten or not been taught these basic things and I think practicing them everyday goes along way. My husband gave a homeless guy $10 the other day because he thought his dog was cute and liked the sign he made. He then went to a grocery store and bought him some food for the guy and his dog.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
I do random acts of kindness all the time. But I do these things anonymously and talking about them kind of takes that out of it and also takes the humility out of it. It's like saying "oh look at what a good person I am because I did such and such". I typically don't talk about my good deeds because they are usually private and anonymous. But the point of them is to bring focus to someone else - not me.
urban-chic-101 urban-chic-101 8 years
I try to as much as possible. It makes me feel like a better human being. Most of the time it almost seems more beneficial to you rather the person you're helping, oddly enough. It lifts your spirit!
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
if I see tourists around NYC, I will offer to take a picture of all of them.... so many of my family vacation pictures from childhood don't have either my mom or dad in them cause they were the photographer!!!
heart-of-steele heart-of-steele 8 years
On Tuesday night I had plans with a girlfriend to see a concert but she ended up bailing on me at the last minute. Instead of getting bummed or worked up about it I went to the show by myself and gave the other ticket to another music fan who didn't have a ticket. He offered to pay me for it or buy me a drink, but I told him, "That's ok, just do the same if you are ever in my position." I had a great time at the show, and so did someone else! And it felt great to make someone's night!
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 8 years
I think it's rather sad that offering a seat to a pregnant woman or an older person isn't a given for most people; it's good manners.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I was on a road trip last weekend and saw some people about my age with a sign that said something like "Traveling. Broke. Hungry." They were doing street performances to make money in a very conservative town while tattooed, pierced with mohawks and bright pink hair. We gave them a couple of granola bars and some bananas we had in our snack stash. Our dog scared the crap out of them, but they still got a good laugh out of it. And a few weeks ago hubby and I had just finished sushi and walked out with leftovers. We walked past a homeless dude with a dog and he asked us for our leftovers. Hubby didn't want to give it to him, but I made him stop and handed it over. The guy was so grateful and his dog was so sweet! Small things make big differences!
danni2009 danni2009 8 years
I let somebody in front of me in the supermarket, I was doing my weekly shop, they had three bags of I hadn't finished putting my shopping on the conveyor belt when they started queueing behind me... Other than that...I don't know, I don't really do many random acts of kindness...people don't seem to appreciate them. I'd rather do kind things for the people I care about and know will appreciate.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 8 years
if i am on a bus and there are no seats i will give up my seat to older people. i go to class 3 times a week and on the way home i always see homeless people so i have stocked up on gift cards to give to them. My grandparents are always doing random acts of kindness and i think seeing them do things for others has really rubbed off on me. they take clothes to homeless people, give them shoes, food, money, etc.
KJ1185 KJ1185 8 years
Yes, I definitely try to. Recently, I was in a convenience store and a little boy only had a dollar. He really wanted something and took it to the register and the woman told him he didn't have enough. I gave him the additional amount and a little extra so he could keep the change. He was so happy - he smiled up at me and thanked me. It was so cute.
dexaholic dexaholic 8 years
I totally believe in random acts of kindness. My most recent was the other day on the train. I was sitting down and the train was filling up, and this very pregnant woman came on and there were no seats for her. So, I gathered up my bags and offered her my seat. She initially said it was ok, but I insisted, and she told me that I was the first person to offer her a seat, throughout her whole pregnancy. I said "oh wow, that's unfortunate!"
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