One of our favorite photos sent by the Sisters of St. Joseph (Illinois), beaming in their WIBN “b a random act of kindness” T-shirts.
Did you know that there’s a Random Acts of Kindness Week? I actually didn’t know until recently while surfing the Internet. While I must admit, I love the idea that there’s a week dedicated to spreading kindness, I don’t think it should be reserved for one day or one week of the year. Shouldn’t practicing kindness happen every day?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rebelling against Random Acts of Kindness Week. On the contrary, I’m rallying for it… but all 52 weeks of the year. Wouldn’t it b nice if every day, in some small way, we each consciously did something nice for someone else? A friend or family member… a stranger… one of the many customer service people we encounter every day. Even if you don’t venture out of your house, you can do something to make the world a more positive place. How about starting with yourself? That’s what I did, because you know what? Self-care counts!
So, I restarted my practice of morning meditation and yoga. Five to ten minutes of sitting in stillness, quieting my mind, pushing out the to-do lists and instead, focusing on my breath and a mantra - “Inhale, I am grateful; exhale I feel joy.” - or some variation of that. Then I did a few “sun salutations” - two in each direction (north, south, east and west). My body felt so good starting the day. I like visualizing the peaceful energy of my yoga practice radiating out and contributing positive vibes where they’re needed.
If you’re an animal lover, daily acts of kindness come easy. I love spending one-on-one time with my dog, Starbucks - playing in the snow, stroking his chocolatey head, looking into his golden eyes and telling him how much he is loved. Try it! This simple, but conscious, loving gesture will make you both feel so good.
Or, how about writing a note of appreciation to someone who isn’t expecting it. Last week, I wrote Andy (Ben and Jack’s dad), letting him know what an awesome father he is and how grateful I am that he took a week off to give our sons a wonderful, sunny vacation. Not that any one of these acts will earn me a Nobel Peace Prize ;-), but I share it because however small, it all matters.
So what do you say? Let’s make every day Random Acts of Kindness Day! Start small, aspire to bigger things. Keep it anonymous or let someone know so that they are inspired to do the same. It’s really what our mantra “Think nice thoughts, do nice things, “b” what makes life nice. Pass it on.” - is all about. Thinking about possibilities, then doing something to make a difference in a positive way.
Need ideas? Just search “acts of kindness” on the Web. I do this almost every day and find stories about paying it forward; remarkable people doing remarkable things; companies that care about making their employees feel appreciated and about their impact on the environment. Surround yourself with this kind of good news and you will see the power of positivity in action. And trust me, you will be inspired to join in.