I was reading a book by Debbie Macomber last year that challenged me to commit to doing one act of random kindness each day. It is intended to accomplish two things: it is a great way to show love to someone just because, and if you are having a bad day, it is amazing how doing one simple thing for someone else can lift your spirits. I started this just before Christmas, which is usually a hectic season for most people. I thought that since I usually have my Christmas shopping done by September, it would be a fun way for me to get into that great Christmas spirit of giving. The book says that is can be as small as opening a door for someone whose arms are full, buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you, or making conversation with that frazzled cashier.
For some reason, I always notice when someone's insurance is expired, so most days, my act of random kindness included chasing someone down to let them know that they needed to renew their insurance. Other days I was able to do something much more personal. One day, I was shopping at our local mall when I noticed a lady about to buy some fabric drawers (to go into one of those cube organizers). Since I know for most people money is very tight, especially around Christmas, I told her that the drawers from Dollarama fit just fine, and are only $2 (compared to $10 at that store). I happily went about my day thinking that I had accomplished my task. A few days later, she bumped into me, and thanked me for saving her that money. She had since passed that tip onto other friends and family members. She made my day just be thanking me for something that in all reality, was just a drop in the bucket of an average day. It seems that this random act of kindness thing was working.
Earlier this year, there was a challenge on Facebook that a friend of mine was doing. She posted that if you were one of the first five people to sign up, she would send you a random gift sometime during the year. The trick was that if you signed up, you also had to send out five random gifts throughout the year. As I was already on my one a day challenge, I didn't sign up. But you know what was really sad? Only three of her friends signed up. I was reading today on Facebook today that our local SPCA had received a mysterious gift.
Pretty cool. And to such a deserving group of people. I can't walk into a pet shelter without wanting to cry and take each and every pet home to love on them. I could never volunteer there. It takes a much stronger person than me to do that each and every day.
So today, to whoever reads this, I challenge you. It makes no difference if you want to commit to a random act of kindness each day (to the best of your ability), or five in one year. Even if you can only do one a year, you never know what that little act will accomplish in your life, or in the life of that lucky person. It's worth a try!
Heavenly Father, help us to open our hearts to those around us. Not just those who are already a big part of our lives, but everyone. Help us to recognize when we can do that little extra for any person who is a part of our day. Help us to be a blessing to more people. And never let us take for granted those people in our lives who we don't always thank when we should. In Jesus's name. Amen.