Random Acts of Kindness

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When I sat down to plan my posts for Blogmas, this prompt really threw me. After discussion with Kevin and some friends, I am still at a loss. Random Acts of Kindness where I grew up, involved money. When you had a little extra cash instead of paying off your debt, you would sneak it into a vehicle of someone you knew at church that was struggling and hope that it would help them in some way (this article here is an extreme version of how I grew up). I struggle with this one, for a few reason.

  1. When you are in the negative, its better to get to 0 when you have extra money, so that in future months you aren't that struggling person, hoping someone will leave you money. 
  2. When you know someone is struggling and you have the opportunity to help them you absolutely should.

There is no right or wrong in this case. You should definitely do what you feel is right. As someone who has watched crippling debt cause issues, it's really hard for me to understand giving that money away, when you are already barely making ends met. Scenarios like this remind me of this meme I've seen around.

"I gave you $10, He gave you $20. You felt that he as better just because he gave you more. But he had $200 and all I had was $10.

But what if all you have is negative?

I feel like a lot of my "Acts of Kindness" are calculated moves and not random. I donate money, when finances allow, but it's a thoroughly researched before hand to ensure we like who we are donating too. We also make sure that we still have an emergency fund and basic needs cared for first. If and when I pay for someone's coffee, it's because I have the money and they look sad. Or they are a friend and I want to give them something of myself and I don't have any other ideas.

I volunteer because I want a stronger community and I want to network. I want to met like minded people, who are kind. Volunteers are always the kindness people you will ever met. They have hearts of gold. It's not an act of kindness that makes me volunteer, it's a human need that I have and can been filled with the amazing people I met while volunteering.

Kevin's thought on this post was someone doing an act of kindness to me. First things that came to mind

  1. Katie telling me that I shouldn't say "I love you" to anyone I am not willing to spend the rest of my life with if they became a quadriplegic and needed a nurse. 
  2. Karen taking me under her wing and making sure I didn't get messed up in a time when I was screaming for help.

Kevin and I dismissed both of these, as one is great advice and the other is something I am so thankful for, they don't fall under the meaning of "Random Kindness".

Something did happen recently when I went into a post office. As I was walking up to the door, I saw a woman coming up with her hands full of boxes. I held the door opened for her and asked her where she was going, she happened to be going to the post office and so I held those doors open for her as well. At the time I didn't know the post office only accepted cash, so after chatting with the postmaster for a few minutes I realized I couldn't post my letter and turned to leave. The lady I had opened the doors for offered to post my letter for me. Now a stamp costs a buck twenty here, so it's not a huge expense and I thanked her kindly, but said no. By definition, that is a random act of kindness.

To me though, parts of it was just logic. Holding doors open is something I was taught, it's polite and why wouldn't I do that. But I am finding less and less people do basic polite things. And while offer is an act of kindness, I feel strange that she felt the need to offer it, just because I did something that should be normal.

How do you definite "Random Acts of Kindness"?