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Friday, February 8, 2008

Random Acts of Kindness

Next week we celebrate Valentine's Day, but it is also National Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 11-17th). This holiday is celebrated around the world, and it expands the love and kindness to not only those we love, but also to strangers.

Who originated the concept of Random Acts of Kindness?
The origin is unknown.
o Some say it began with the Old Testament
o Others say it was something that was popularized by Oprah Winfrey when she
encouraged her audience to take part in random acts, as she popularized the
concept by paying for the toll of the person beyond her in line.
o Some say it was popularized by the media with the release of the Kevin Spacey
movie Pay It Forward. In this classic
movie a young boy is assigned a life-changing homework project. The boy decides
to change the world by performing 3 acts of kindness for three strangers, hoping
they will do the same to three other strangers, and continue to astronomical

What is the basis of these acts of kindness?
o The simple practice that allows one to give without receiving a material reward
o The act is impulsive and driven by inner compassion
o There is no repayment of the act, just the process of resurrecting the deed to
o Simply stated it is doing something kind for someone else

What are some simple suggestions for acts of kindness?
o Visit a sick friend or call a lonely person
o Share a smile and say hello to a stranger
o Put a quarter in someone's parking meter
o Leave a thank you note on the table of a kind waiter
o Pay for coffee for the person behind you in a drive through
o Clean your neighbors driveway or walk

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