Of course, Random Acts of Kindness Week starts each year right around or on Valentine’s Day. There are two good reasons for this. The first is that acts of kindness are good for your heart. The other reason is that there is a connection between kindness and love. When we do something kind for another person, we feel good. We get a good dose of the “feel good” hormone, oxytocin. The same is true when we care for someone else.
These are important reasons to act kindly toward another human being. It shows our humanness and makes us grateful and compassionate beings toward others. Sayings like “pay it forward” or “be the change you want to see in the world” are all about acts of kindness and selflessness. So, too, are karma and The Golden Rule.
Spread kindness like wildflowers and watch the seeds grow.
Random Acts of Kindness Day
Every year, National Random Acts of Kindness Day takes place on February 17. Each year the day is celebrated by individuals, groups, and organizations to encourage acts of genuine kindness. The day has increased in popularity and is a way to acknowledge the selfless acts of many who do kind things just because it makes them feel good.
Random Acts of Kindness Day or Week Suggestions
The following suggestions are from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Random Acts of Kindness Week was established in 1995 by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. This week celebrates the small things anyone can do to make a difference in the world. Whether planting a tree in someone’s honor or celebrating a milestone with someone to acknowledge their hard work, acts of kindness go a long way. They make the world a better place and are a way to give back to the world. They help a person feel supported and heard.
Ways to Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation suggests the following ways to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day. They are easy, free, and will make you feel good about yourself and others. Suggestions include:
- Compliment at least five people. This is a free activity, provides connection to others, and helps you see the good in people. As explained below, helping you see the good in others goes a long way. It takes a negative attitude and “flips it” into a positive one. This is both good for the doer and the receiver.
- Let the person in line behind you go ahead of you. In the “me, me, me” world of going first, it’s nice to let someone in ahead of you. It gives you time to reflect on doing this again throughout the day. This is especially true at the grocery store when a person has two or three items and the person in front has an entire cart full of groceries. Be sensitive to this and you will see what a gift this can be to others.
- Leave happy notes around town. In our yoga Shala, we put stickers up that say, “Lucky Me.” Lucky Me is a great way to “flip it” when thinking about kindness. Instead of feeling like the victim, feel lucky to be able to do something and provide kindness to others. We must watch our thoughts because they become our actions. If we feel like a victim, then we see life through the lens of victimization. Instead, see how lucky you are and pass on the attitude to someone else. This is a random act of kindness.
- Babysit for a single mom for free. Nothing is better than having someone reliable to babysit for a small child. Gifting a free babysitting night for a single mom is a generous way for her to find a little personal space.
- Sit next to someone who is sitting alone at lunch. Breaking the feeling of someone else’s isolation is a grand gesture to offer someone. You never know, you may make a new friend in the process.
- Help an elderly neighbor take out the trash or mow their lawn. I have seen how difficult it can be for an elderly person to perform certain tasks at home. Offering a little help is a great way to show respect to an elderly person. Sometimes people are afraid to ask for help and may need it more than you know.
So why go to the trouble of helping someone else when no one helps me?
Insert the “flip it” manta here. Because of what scientists call the brain’s “negativity bias,” we’re most likely to notice the bad qualities in others rather than the good ones. We see the things that worry or annoy us or make us critical. For this reason, our behavior is self-perpetuating. Instead of feeling like no one else helps us or offers us random acts of kindness, be proactive. Proactively offer kindness to others. You will be surprised at their response. And offer kindness with no expectation attached to the outcome.
Lucky Me – Flip Your Perspective
Instead of looking for the bad in people, “flip it” to look for the good. It’s the same thing as “Lucky Me” when things go wrong. Lucky Me that I was given the opportunity to be stronger than I thought I could. Lucky Me that I had a new experience even though it was unpleasant. Lucky Me that I can find the good in others.
If you feel surrounded by lots of bad or neutral qualities in others, and only a sprinkling of good ones, then you naturally feel less supported, less safe, and less inclined to be generous with your time or actions or pursue your dreams. This is the value of seeing the good in others. Giving to others helps us feel better on a physical and mental level. It’s the true benefit of reaching out in genuine acts of kindness. Seeing the good in others is a simple but very powerful way to feel happier and more confident and become more loving and more productive in the world.
Check out our Random Acts of Kindness Decks from life Hack Decks™. These prompt decks of 52 cards makes living life with a generous and grateful heart that much easier. Pick a card and act on the prompt. It’s that simple.