51 Acts of Kindness

This is going to be a different post than usual today. I actually wanted to do this last year when I turned 50, but things happened. I had to take a last minute trip to Canada a few days before my birthday and then was still there way past my birthday. It was a hard trip for me and my thoughts weren’t on others, I was just trying to focus on what I had to get through at the time. It had actually been a really hard year and I thought focusing on others would be a good way for me to get out of my rut, but new trials made that more difficult and more focus was on what was happening in my own little world. That’s when I realized little things can make a big difference. I had some quiet experiences that made hard times bearable.

Doesn’t it brighten your day when someone gives you a smile or calls you out of nowhere?
What about when someone shows up at your door with a little treat or sends you a sweet email?

I know, it can totally make your day! Right?

Just to know someone is thinking of you and you’re not alone can make all the difference in a day. Whether you’re having a good day or a bad day an act of kindness is always welcome.

Acts of Kindness.1

Like most of you I go throughout my day doing what I have to do. There’s work to be done, kids to be shuffled to classes and activities, meals to be prepared, errands to be completed and so on. If I see a way I can help someone I just naturally do it. But… I wanted to be more aware.  So, I started a list of small acts I could do to brighten someone’s day.

And some of them are really small, like tell someone they look nice or just smile and say “have a good day”.
Or some take a little more effort, like taking dinner to someone or babysitting their kids.

My goal is to complete the 51 Acts in the month of January, since that’s my birthday month. I have 28 out of 51 finished at this point so I’m about half way. Let me share some of my experiences with you.

I have become more aware of others needs.
Sometimes people are surprised by kindness (I find that sad).
I have friends that give good hugs.
It can brighten my day more than the one I’m giving too.
My kids have loved being involved and want to give more.

Acts of Kindness 2

I will probably write another post about my experiences after this month. It’s been a good experience for me and I find myself thinking about others almost every minute of the day now. If you follow me on Instagram I’ve been taking a few pictures here and there of some of the Acts I’ve chosen to do, maybe it will give you some ideas.

I found this little book and am giving it to one of you. Just leave a comment telling me about an act of kindness you have given or received. I will randomly draw from one of the comments and send you the book. It has some really good ideas in it. The giveaway will end January 24th, on my Birthday.

Have a Beautiful Day and Weekend!

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Kendra January 18, 2013, 12:00 pm

    My son was still asleep when the bus from kindergarten was coming; a friend of mine picked my daughter up and brought her home for me so I didn’t have to wake up my little one. Such a small act of kindness, but meant a lot to me…..

  • Heidi K January 18, 2013, 12:07 pm

    I paid for the person behind me in the drive-thru. It was great!

  • Dana @ Cooking at Cafe D January 18, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Today I needed a word of comfort. And, a total stranger saw it, recognized it, took a risk and offered a piece of scripture of support, a hug, and she offered to pray for me. I am surprised by her taking the risk – she had no way of knowing I was a Christian. Today, she was an angel used by God.

  • Dara January 18, 2013, 12:33 pm

    I like when people return my grocery cart for me so I don’t have to leave my kid alone while I walk across the parking lot.
    Dara recently posted..What I’ve Been Reading #9

  • pak January 18, 2013, 1:09 pm

    I gave homemade chicken soup and rolls to a new mother yesterday.

  • Heather January 18, 2013, 1:50 pm

    The kids and I passed out candy canes to everyone at church during December! They loved it!

  • Lisa January 18, 2013, 2:28 pm

    This is from a couple years ago, and even though I try to do random acts of kindness on a regular basis, this one has always stuck with me for the great feeling it gave me.

    I typically visit a specific restaurant once a week for lunch. An elderly couple was always in there at lunchtime no matter what day of the week it was. I’m sure it was just easier for them. You could tell that the gentleman loved his wife deeply…the caring and concern was always there in his eyes. One December day while I was driving there, something or someONE told my heart that I should buy their lunch anonymously that day. I ate my lunch and I was almost finished thinking that of course, the one day I wanted to buy their lunch, they weren’t going to show up. They finally did just as I was getting ready to leave. So I sat there a little longer (knowing I was going to get back to work late! HAH!) and after they finally got settled and put their order in, I got up to pay my bill and leave. Whenever I would walk by them, the gentleman would nod his head at me. I paid for their lunch at the register, asking the waittress to not tell them who it was.

    The next time I was in the restaurant the waittress told me that he was insistent that she tell him who paid, but she stayed firm and said she couldn’t do that. A couple months later she told me that he continued to ask if that person was in the restaurant that day 🙂

    Not long after, I noticed that he was alone all the time. I asked the waittress and she told me that his wife had been placed in long-term care, but he continued to go there for lunch every day. She later passed away and he looked so sad whenever I saw him. I now never see him; I have no idea if he is now in long-term care or if he has also passed…that waittress is no longer at the restaurant.

    I just know that it really made me feel good to pay for their lunch that day…and it’s a feeling I will never forget!

  • Cheryl (Shestamps) January 18, 2013, 2:29 pm

    I love doing Random Acts of Kindness when I am having a bad day. It is amazing how a little act of kindness can help turn your day around. I have paid for the person behind me in a drive through, returned shopping carts (especially for moms with little ones), I have let people go ahead of me in line, helped an elderly person load groceries in their car, just to name a few. I don’t if they truly count as RAK’s because I do get something out of it. The smile and thanks from the other person helps to turn my bad day around.
    Cheryl (Shestamps) recently posted..If Friends Were Flowers….

  • Chris January 18, 2013, 2:35 pm

    I gave my 40% off coupons at Joann fabrics to a woman who desperately needed to purchase some super spendy foam (we started chatting at the cutting counter – she was fixing her couch before company arrived). Yes, saving the money would have been nice but she ended up saving over $50. It felt SO good to help her. 🙂

  • Susan January 18, 2013, 3:39 pm

    My daughter’s step-mom is in the hospital for her second open heart surgery, first one was 8 years ago, and it has not been going as well as it should have . She is doing better but this is the third day of being totally sedated and in ICU. My daughter has been staying at the hospital with her dad and two step-sisters because there have been surgeries on her step-mom everyday. So, today when I picked up her boys and we were trying to get the schedule for the weekend worked out, I cleaned up her kitchen and washed her dishes…also made her oldest son take out the trash…lol I didn’t think anything about it until I got my e-mail from you today and opened it up to see what fun stuff you had going on. (by the way, I pick up my grandsons everyday for her so she doesn’t have to worry about them while she is at work….I make sure homework is completed and a snack after school so they don’t starve until dinner.) My oldest grandson was talking to his mom and told her I was doing the dishes. She told him to tell me not to do them. Of course, I didn’t listen to either one of them…I know that she will appreciate coming home tonight from the hospital and have a clean sink and clean dishes. Her step-mom and I call each other their ” wife-in-law” and I am very worried and concerned about her.

  • Gilly Crews January 18, 2013, 4:01 pm

    This is such a heart warming idea to do for any occasion.
    Today, I listened to a friend that is going through so many emotions. Her boyfriend was hurt overseas and has been suffering from amnesia. It happened just days before he was going to ask her to marry him. And now, he doesn’t remember who she is. My heart aches for my friend, the young woman I would be proud to call my daughter (that’s how much she means to me). Just like a Mom, I want only for her to not feel pain and sorrow. So, I listen, give her words of encouragement (because she is courageous) and tell her how much I love her.

  • Denise January 18, 2013, 4:28 pm

    Just the other day I paid the toll for a gentleman behind me. I have paid for people’s order in the drive thru, let people go ahead of me in line at the store, etc. I try to do something kind for someone every day as we don’t know the internal battles they are fighting.

  • Deb January 18, 2013, 5:38 pm

    When my kids were all small, we took a job across the country and my husband had to be there before we could sell our house and get everything together. I had neighbors bring me dinner, check to see if my daughter needed stitches and actually carry a swingset about 3 blocks so we would still have one after we sold ours at a garage sale. Another friend took all three to the pool, (they were 6, 4 and 3) so I could have an afternoon to pack. Another family loaned us a car because we only had one and my dh took it with him. It was amazing.

  • Karen January 18, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Thank you for sharing this great idea. I’ve been thinking about doing this as I turn 60 this year. Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. I’m glad you shared the book recommendation …

  • Ruth January 19, 2013, 12:49 am

    we grocery shop 1-2 weeks at a time, I Always let someone with just a few items “cut” in line (especially when they dont give me a dirty look when they realize they are stuck waiting behind the crazy lady with 5 kids’ worth of groceries)
    Shoveled the neighbors driveway ( after 15″ of snow fell overnight, we had just moved in to the neighborhood and hadnt met her, 2 years later, still havent ever spoken to her)
    Left quarters loaded for the next person (washer) or taped to the front ( dryer ) at the laundry mat.
    Made brownies or cookies and delivered them to the fire department
    Adopt a soldier ( my 10 yr olds whole class wrote to / became pen pals with a platoon in Afghanistan and after my 17yr olds jrotc instructor heard about it, they put together care packages (including the fund raising with a car wash to send them) http://www.adoptaussoldier.org/ ( only costs a stamp )
    Most hospitals take donations for the Nicu ( hats and receiving or handmade blankets ) or teddy bears, (good)old toys to the Childrens ward
    There have been times when Ive picked up my kids at their dads house after school and, picking up my kids meant their step brother was left alone, so I sent a text to both my ex and his wife so they knew he was safe, and not home alone and brought him along for Ice Cream

  • Joyce M January 19, 2013, 2:02 am

    Given: Made a meal for a friend’s family when they had a full week
    Received: My dad came to help us trim our trees. 🙂

  • Abby January 19, 2013, 12:21 pm

    I gave a pot of soup to my daughters teacher and hair dresser a few nights ago! Something so small can bring a smile to your face!

  • Dezi A January 20, 2013, 6:59 am

    What a neat idea! I may have to do something like that too. Sometime I love doing is whenever I’m asked to take someone a meal, I’ll double everything and take an extra meal to another friend or neighbor who I think may need it. Not much more work on my part for an easy way to make someone’s day.

  • Mavis February 2, 2013, 4:51 am

    Great idea. I’m a January baby, too. Will have to give this a go next year or later this year. Tried something similar years ago but didn’t keep it up.

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