Yesterday morning, I was doing my morning routine of checking e-mail, Facebook and Pinterest, and I came upon this:
I was taken with its whimsy and loved that someone took the time to bring a little quirkiness and beauty to their community.
I want to do something like that, I thought. I want to do something fabulous today! But what?
(I could easily fall back into the Dr. Seuss rhyming right now, but I’ll refrain.)
So I puzzled and puzzled till my puzzler was sore…. Doh! Sorry! It’s just so contagious!
I knew I wanted my activity to effect others (as I’ve been wanting to find something significant for months) so I thought I’d spend the whole day doing Random Acts of Kindness.
I’ve done the classic “pay for the person behind me” thing at whatever drive thru I was in but I’d never spent a whole day devoted to doing such things.
I got on-line for inspiration. Surely someone somewhere had compiled a list of RAOK. There were some such lists and I have to say they sort of disappointed. There were things on there like: open the door for someone.
Excuse me! That is not a RAOK. That is called basic common courtesy and should be something we all do daily. Shame on you if you don’t!
There were others that were a little more my speed such as read or sing to the elderly at a Senior Center. My piano teacher and I already have an appointment to perform together at a Senior Center after the Holidays. She on her piano and me on the vocals. Yea! Old standards all the way! My favorites! I had never thought of reading to them. That would be a treat! Maybe there’s some old broad who is dying to hear Fifty Shades of Grey. I’d just be doing a good deed.
After finding little that piqued my interest on the internet I surveyed my friends. Loved the ideas I got there!
- Take treats to the firehouse. Cookies and sweet treats are always yummy but my Sister did note that her fire fighter clients said, “No one ever brings us chicken and veggies.”
- Help someone change their tire. A must, should the opportunity arise.
- Buy inexpensive wreaths from the Dollar Gen Gen and take them to a nursing home or neighborhood and hang them on people’s doors.
- Pay from someones gas.
- Paying someone else’s grocery bill.
- Pass out gift cards for coffee. (Starbucks was a big RAOK. People need their caffeine. It’s not just a kindness to that individual to feed that addiction. We all benefit really.)
- Hand out candy canes.
- Pay someone’s electricity or water bill
- Buy someone a cupcake.
- Save a kitten from hunger and cold by putting it out of its misery. (K. That was awful. Just seeing if you’re paying attention.)
- Take old blankets and towels to the local animal shelter.
I loved all of theses ideas! I have such good and kind-hearted friends! (Except the Kitten Killer. You know who you are.)
The kids were getting out of school early today and so I decided that I would include them on my little mission. I told them to think of what we could do for our RAOK and when I picked them up we would go make the world a better place.
Bug suggested I adopt a child.
“That would be something kind you could do for a kid!”
“Well, yes Bug, but that is more of a Major Act Of Love than a Random Act Of Kindness.”
Buddy and Bug decided on putting money from their own wallets into the Salvation Army buckets and on visiting our local animal shelter.
“I know! We could adopt all of the puppies there and then give them away to random people!” Buddy suggested.
“K. No…that would again fall under the Major Act Of Love category. We can’t force people into devoting themselves to a pet. That’s a major committment that each person has to make individually. I repeat: We are not adopting living things today.”
The school is hosting Book Fair this week and the boys’ money was burning a hole in their wallets. There is a bulletin board in the library where each teacher has made a wish list of the books they would like to add to their classroom collection. Bug picked a choice from both his teacher and Buddy’s teacher.
“I’m buying them their books with my own money!” he declared to me.
“Go for it Bug. I think that’s a very kind thing for you to do.”
“I’m going to buy these spy pens for two of my friends who couldn’t afford to get them,” Buddy decided.
“Also very nice.”
After making their purchases the boys and I discussed kind things we could do that didn’t cost money. The RAOK don’t have to come from your bank account. During our talk we decided that we wanted to do this once a month and we would do it on a weekend so we could include Man. So from this month forward, the second Saturday of every month will be Random Acts Of Kindness Day for our family.
When I left the school I was feeling better already! Just the day before Buddy wondered to me if they were on the naughty list.
“Of course not!” I said. “What would make you think that?”
“Because all we seem to do is make you mad.”
It felt good to have a nice morning with my boys. A morning where they were making me proud and they were feeling good because of it. A morning where I hopefully have planted a seed for good deeds in them. Well, they always want to do kind deeds for people but I felt that I had encouraged it and now we had a plan to do it together as a family. Great morning!
From the school I headed to the grocery store to execute my own personal plan. I was feeling super! Super proud of self and kids. Super empowered. Super happy!
I feel like a Super Hero again!
At the store I bought a huge bag of dog treats. Actually two bags. One for big dogs like my Drake and one for little dogs like my “niece” Malakite, a shitzu/chihuahua mix. I also bought bags of treats for cats. Then I bought to bouquets of chrysanthemums, red and white, and a pair of scissors. The bouquets were $8 each. After making my purchases I sat in the car and cut the stems of the chrysanthemums into individual flowers or small bouquets of just 4 or 5 flowers. I took my cuttings and went out into the parking lot and slipped a flower or mini bouquet under the driver side windshield wiper of each car.
There was an elderly lady carefully climbing out of a big rusty truck that I was approaching. I got to personally hand her flowers.
“A beautiful lady like you should have some flowers to compliment,” I said to her.
She blushed shades of pink, smiled and said, “OH! Thank you!”
After passing out my flowers I went to therapy. My therapist got flowers too and she loved my plan for the day.
After therapy I:
- Got my self a Starbucks and bought a $5 gift card which I left with the cashier and asked her to use it on the next person or just whoever she felt needed it most that day. (And I gave her a flower.)
- I bought gas. A $50 gas card for a personal friend and a $10 gas card for a random. I was going to leave that with the cashier but…I wasn’t feeling good vibes from her, not gonna lie, so I took it out to the parking lot with me. I saw a young lady, guessing in high school, who had a car full of friends in her little car. It reminded me of when we would pack, like 8 people, into my Brother In Law’s little silver hatchback in high school. Idiots. So I gave her the card. When I was back at my car she came and knocked at my window. “Did you just do this to be nice?” she asked. “Yes!” I smiled. “Now it’s your turn. Please do something kind for someone else.” “Cool! Thanks!” she said. “I will.”
Then I picked the kids up from school…
- We packed a Santa sack with old towels from our linen closet (win for me, win for the shelter) and with the treats I had bought. I had a whole bunch of red bandanas that was part of our costume in a 5K run we had done this summer. I added those too. We took the goodies to the Intermountain Humane Society. The place smelled pretty awful. I have to say… All of the cats were in the office and so it smelled like a Crazy Cat Lady’s house. The kids pet some of the cats and the ladies working there went nuts over all the goodies in the bag. (Especially the bandanas!) They took a picture of the boys with the sack for their newsletter. Then the boys and I went out to the kennel to play fetch with the dogs there and to give them some personal love. (And for fresh air. OH MY LANDS!)
- We had a bouquet of flowers left so I took the boys to another grocery store parking lot, clipped the flowers and let them pass them out this time. Then we sat to see how people responded. One lady was getting into her car and held her flower in between her teeth while she loaded her groceries. Loved that!
- Once home Buddy did one more thing….he took an apple pie I had in the freezer and took it over to one of our neighbors.
And that’s about it. That was our day. It was great. It was fun. It was so good for the soul! I hope that my readers will consider doing the same. Spend a full day of it. It’s so fun! Maybe you and your family will join us every second Saturday of the month too. Wouldn’t that be cool if there were tons of us doing good for each other all over?