Reflections on Random Acts of Kindness
So, what is Random Acts of Kindness, better known to me as “RAK”?
A little bit about Random Acts of Kindness
It is an unplanned act whose goal is to bring kindness and spread kindness to those we know and those we do not know. It’s a practice that offers hope to unsuspecting people to provide a ray of light in someone’s life. It brings a smile to a frown; it can create a positive emotion when none was expected; it can be the beginning of a new start; and it has the capability to change how we treat one another.
I’ve been fortunate to witness “RAK” first hand many times. However, I know my experience is not the norm.
The first thing to understand about RAK is that it can’t be about you, it is about bringing joy to others.
Random Acts of Kindness in Action
Let me share a great example: Last week, while doing a presentation to middle & high school students from three surrounding counties, a powerful RAK showed up.
It wasn’t planned. It just happened.
So, here’s a little backstory, a student bravely shared how she is being bullied at her current school. She shared how challenging everyday life can be without a friend to sit with or talk to and how painful it is to not have someone to support you. She courageously explained how being different than the status quo makes her a target. She shared how a friendly smile, a hug, or compliment could brightness someone’s day.
The beauty of what we do at STARS, and with the MOVE2STAND training, is that we can be the nudge, the voice that says “take some sort of action to be of support to someone else.”
When young people or adults decide they want to support positive change, incredible acts of courage and kindness occur.
As facilitators, we often don’t get to see all the change that comes from our work. We know the seeds have been planted and, with a little sun light and water, the message will grow.
In this case, only hours after leaving the training, I received a picture from a teacher stating, “Today was a wake-up call for them, an eye opening experience for many and that they could and needed to do more”.
The teacher shared with me during our last break, one student from another school went up to the student who is isolated and being bullied, reached out to her to give her that friendly smile, that hug and that compliment she needed so much. I found out they exchanged numbers and have begun a new friendship.
There is comfort knowing, in the words of the Archbishop Oscar Romero Prayer, “We can’t do everything and there is a sense of liberation in that but we can all do something.”
My challenge to everyone reading this is to do “something” that brings joy and kindness to others.
Looking for some inspiration?
Here’s a few of my favorite RAK caught in action.
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