Every February 11, something incredible, even magical, happens.
No, Valentine’s candy does not go on sale half-off. It’s something even better, if you can believe that. February 11 marks the beginning of “Random Acts of Kindness Week.”
This is also the week of Valentine’s Day. Just so you don’t get this twisted, sending your girlfriend roses does not count. You’re supposed to do that, ya knucklehead. If I understand correctly, the whole point of the week is to make your acts of kindness random.
What does this mean?
Well, that’s where it all gets tricky.
According to Merriam Webster, the word random means, “determined by accident rather than design.” This means you are supposed to just do nice things without over-thinking them. You have to check your motives – you can’t be nice in order to get something in return.
“What a waste of time,” you may think. (This, by the way makes you a little selfish. Just saying.)
This whole concept is brilliant. BRILLIANT.
Have you ever pulled up to the drive-thru window only to discover the driver ahead of you payed for your order? In case it hasn’t happened to you, let me just say that it makes you smile. It makes you wonder who the heck was in that car, but it mostly makes you smile.
(Just to be clear, if it makes you wish you’d ordered more, you are kind of a jerk.)
There is really nothing better than being on the receiving end of someone else’s random kindness, other than, of course, being the one who is randomly kind. Something awesome happens when you realize you did something for another person with no expectation of reciprocation. You did something good.
According to the internet, being kind in this manner is actually good for your heart health. I have no idea if that is true, but I do know that when The Grinch did something kind, you know, returning the Christmas he stole, his heart got bigger or something. No – his heart grew when someone was kind to him, then he returned Christmas … either way, this randomly kind stuff is good for everyone involved.
The Random Acts of Kindness website suggests a slew of randomly kind acts. They suggest, for example, finding out something new about a co-worker. I guess it could backfire, with you coming off as nosey, but it could also make your coworker feel valued, listened to or cared about. That can’t be bad.
Randomactsofkindness.org also suggests complimenting someone on their parking skills. I often have thoughts about how other people park. They usually aren’t kind. Perhaps this would be an opportunity to discover newfound gratitude for the people who do park well.
You can also write a bunch of positive thoughts on sticky notes and leave them on cars, desks, grocery carts, etc. and give a stranger a little lift during the day.
Kindness is the ultimate expression of love. It’s also a way to see the world, especially the people around you, differently. It is hard to do something good for someone with malice in your heart. You almost have to think positively to initiate the act.
One warning: If someone happens to be randomly kind to you on the 16th, it may be a bad sign. That’s “Do a Grouch a Favor Day,” which may be the ultimate sign that you need a little kindness in your life. That means you should probably pay it forward.