I remember a time on my last job, years ago, when everyone in my office sent me to a restaurant up the street to get their lunches. On my way back, my hands were so full that I struggled to open the door just to get into the building. What angered me about this experience was that just off to my right, a group of men sat ogling me, but none of them even flinched to help me. I stood there trying to balance food containers, swapping them from one hand to the next, as I tried to get a grip on the door to open it. Finally, a young Filipino woman saw me struggling and ran up to open the door for me. She really only opened it because she needed to get inside as well, but the fact remains she helped me nonetheless. Not the group of men who openly admired my beauty, but sat on their bums. A random woman came to my rescue. And while it shouldn't matter who the help comes from, I couldn't help but feel that in that moment, chivalry really was a dying characteristic.
But this morning one of the teacher’s in the school that I work at brought me, as well as at least 6 other people, a bag of rosemary and Spanish thyme. I was so happy! It was such a kind gesture and now I would be able to try so many other recipes I've been looking at (which I'm sure my family will be thankful for)! So whenever someone does something nice for me, I'm always surprised. Today people are so consumed by their own lives, or electronics, that they don’t notice the things and people around them. But we can’t be like that. For Christ calls us to “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)
In the spirit of giving, with Thanksgiving soon upon us, make an extra effort to do something nice for someone. So where to start? It’s easy. Make a list. I jotted down a bunch of different ideas that I thought would make someone’s day. Whether it was simply surprising someone with something special, or making their day run more smoothly, I made a note of it. I intentionally chose things that I often struggle with, but hopefully by writing it down somewhere public, I could hold myself accountable the next time I see someone in need of a blessing. Here are some ways you could show random acts of kindness:
- Pay it forward: pay for someone else’s coffee or tea on your next visit to Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks.
- Bring a treat for a co-worker you know is having a hard time.
- Give up your seat on the bus/train/subway.
- Be patient in traffic. Let someone out in front of you. We all know that feeling.
- Return your shopping cart instead of leaving it in the parking lot.
- Tip your grocery packer or waitress. Even if the service was bad (they may be having a rough day). Most of them rely on commission.
- Try to leave a positive review on your last order. Even if it wasn't perfect, find something positive to say.
- Open doors. Hold them open for a large group of people.
- Give up control of the remote for one night so that your partner or family member can watch their favourite show.
- Send a good morning text to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- Give someone a ride even if they're not going your way.
- Compliment a co-worker today, whether it's on their outfit or work ethic; find something nice to say to them.
- Listen attentively to that co-worker or family member that’s always trying to talk to you.
- Offer assistance to the customer that comes to you before or after office/store hours.
Don’t be afraid to lend a helping hand. And don't do something nice just for a reward, that's not the point of this challenge. I challenge you to join this tradition and jump on the kind train with me. Let’s change the world. Let’s spread light!
+What are some ideas that you have? Have you shown or experienced a random act of kindness lately? Let me know in the comments section!