Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness

All year you hear about the worst of the human race. Senseless violence committed for nothing more than notoriety. With every story, you lose more and more hope in the human race and get sick to your stomach when the news comes on because you know there is another story that is going to make you cry and hold your babies just a little tighter.
However, there are shining beacons in the night that lead you to believe that there is more out there than the boogieman, that there are angels among us. These people sneak in and, with one action, begin to restore what was lost. They don’t do it for a spotlight on the news or to be praised. They mostly don’t even realize they did anything at all.

I’m talking about those that do random acts of kindness.
But... what constitutes as an act of kindness?
That answer is very simple. It can be anything, really. Taking a plate of food to your elderly neighbor or inviting them over for dinner. Helping the homeless man on the corner by giving him a blanket, a cup of hot cocoa, or a ride to a shelter for the night. Rescuing a puppy from a shelter. One that is becoming more and more common is someone in line behind someone else and they pick up the tab for the first person’s groceries.
What do all of these have in common? The person that did this did it and wanted nothing in return. They did it because they have a heart, not because they wanted to get something out of it.
Random acts of kindness are so few and far between these days; they are overshadowed by the violence that is now running rampant in the streets of our cities. The reason for that is simple, as well. When someone is kind to others, it’s such a bizarre occurrence it seems almost alien. Add to the fact they ask for nothing back, the thought is so far out there the story can’t possibly be real.
But it is. 

Personally, I don’t have a lot to give to others. My acts are something that seem so small to other people that they don’t see it as anything. I donate stories, time, and whatever resources I have to charities of different natures. I proudly stamp my name on story collections that are given to donors who donate to the cause I’m working for. I donate to food and clothing drives that benefit those who are less fortunate than I. I have a rescue pup that was adopted from a local shelter. When I was a kid, I gave a backpack full of food, warm clothes and a fleece blanket to a man I found living under a bridge. A couple of years ago I gave 50 dollars to a man to put gas in his van so he could make it home for Christmas.
None of these things are overly huge in the grand scheme of things, but I know it meant the world to that person at the time. I doubt either of those men remember me, but that’s okay. I didn’t do what I did for that. The man under the bridge was cold and hungry and the man in the van needed someone’s help.
I believe we are where we are meant to be at the time we are meant to be there. It’s up to you to see the calling for what it is and to make the choice to act on it. 

What is your random act of kindness?  

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. 

From busymommy:  

This is why I began the Christmas Wishes compilation. As I had recounted during our first year, Toys for Tots was a very special charity for my dad, and this was a way for me to honor his memory, while helping others. 

I'm sure the Toys for Tots organization has no idea where these donations are coming from, I'm certain that they've never given a second thought to the influx of donations in the $5 - $10 range. But I am also certain they are grateful for every single one of those donations - for each Barbie those dollars purchased, every Hot Wheel that could be slipped into a stocking, every bike they contributed to. 

And because I wanted to see those donations made, I found a way to combine something I loved - writing and fiction - with a way to help others. I am so very grateful for every author, graphic artist, beta, volunteer, and most especially, everyone who donates. You all have helped make a simple plan to help others a reality. 

Thank you. 

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