“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Kind words and actions can seem so small, but their effects are truly endless” – Scott Adams
Random Acts of Kindness Day is a day to celebrate and encourage random acts of kindness. “It’s just a day to celebrate kindness and the whole pay it forward mentality”, said Tracy Van Kalsbeek, executive director of the Stratford Perth Community Foundation, in 2016, where the day is celebrated on November 4. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is an internationally recognized non-profit organization founded in 1995, Denver, Colorado. The organization was built upon the powerful belief in kindness and dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness.
Benefits of Kindness
There was a wise man who once shared a concept: “Do not think of those who are in need, such as panhandlers, as seeking charity. They are, instead, providing a service. A service that allows you to get your fix of feel good while simultaneously paying someone for providing it.”
Besides brightening someone else’s day and making the world a better place, there are plenty of beneficial side effects to altruism. Indeed, research has shown that the very act of doing something for someone else gives us a chemical high, a higher one, in fact, than if something had been done for us.
When we show generosity to others, our bodies release various hormones such as serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins that can improve our health and overall wellbeing. Oxytocin, for example, helps lower blood pressure and increases feelings of optimism, while serotonin makes us happier, calmer and even has a healing effect! Simple acts of random kindness can reduce pain, anxiety and stress while increasing our energy, lifespan and happiness – what’s not to love?!
Another great thing about kindness is that it’s contagious. By starting with ourselves, we can inspire those around us to also act with warmth and care. This butterfly effect has been epitomized in various art projects, for example the YouTube video “Kindness Boomerang” by Life Vest Inside and the movie Pay It Forward – both demonstrate that by setting off a series of generous acts we can influence and improve the world around us.
How to Observe Today;
Make a note to do nice things throughout the day. Are you looking for ideas? We’ve collected a few that will get you started.
- Pay for the coffee or meal of the person in front of you in line.
- Leave a kind note for someone, no explanation needed.
- Share words of encouragement. You never know who might need them.
- Put your skills to work for someone in need. For example, offer to create a résumé for someone seeking a new job.
- Drop off a load of groceries at the local food supermarket.
- Mail a “thinking of you” card to someone you’ve not to talk to in a while.
- Order a bouquet of flowers to be delivered to anyone in the hospital. That means, call the florist and tell them to pick a hospital or nursing home and deliver flowers to the person the front desk thinks needs it the most. It could be a sick child, an elderly person with no family or a college student down on their luck.
- Send a thank you note to the local fire department, police departments, or any military personnel.
- Just smile. A smile can do a whole lot more than you think.
Share your random acts of kindness using #RandomActsOfKindnessDay to post on social media.