Friday, December 16, 2011

Living - All It Takes Is A Simple Act of Random Kindness!

I look forward to mid-month Fridays each month, as it is our monthly MOPS meeting.  I am newer to this group, however have grown to thoroughly enjoy it ever more each month.  It gives me the little "break" from being Mommy to focus on my spiritual self and hang with some fabulous ladies. 

Before I left for our meeting this morning, I read this article about  people who are annonymously paying off Kmart layaways for folks.  It left me with a warm fuzzy.  

Coincidentally (?) in our group meeting today, we touched on 'random acts of kindness'.  What a fabulous topic, during a special time of year.  Simple or ellaborate, genuine acts......randomly applied to strangers, acquaintances or loved ones.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?!

During our discussion, I was mentally taking note of how I was going to spread the gift of hope and what actions I could take to spread joy through random acts of kindess.  I knew this was something that would be fabulous to blog as well!  Oh, so excited!

Following MOPS, my little guy and I ran a couple quick errands and decided to stop at the McDonald's drive thru to grab a cheeseburger meal to share.  My mind again, back on my busy weekend ahead.

I slowly crept up to the busy McDonald's drive thru ordering our #2 meal.  Of course, my son who is in the back seat is insisting that we get a toy and I was busy trying to explain to him why today was not a toy kind of day. (We've all been there before, right) :-)  I get up to the first window to pay for our meal and begin handing over my payment when the young gal hands me a receipt and a small note and tells me that my meal had been paid for by the car ahead of me.


How I wanted to skip the second window and speed off and thank the lady in front of me for her gesture of kindness.  And it dawned on me that someone had just shared a little joy with a stranger, and I was that lucky stranger.  And oh the joy that person must have felt knowing they had made someone's day.  The joy they must feel deep inside imagining how I reacted knowing my meal had been paid for unexpectedly.  And how full their heart must feel.

Thank you, to the gal in the white grand prix that drove away ahead of me.  Your kindness, joy and hope will be paid forward....for sure!

Was this coincidence?  I mean, the article, we had just talked about random acts of kindness at MOPS and then just a half hour following the meeting, I was finding myself the receiver of a random act of kindness.

Wow!  I'm still in awe.  His majesty is amazing.

It is this time of year that we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our 'to do' list and our 'to wish' list and we can easily get distracted and forget about the simple things.  Waiting a few extra seconds to hold a door for someone walking a ways behind us, grabbing a grocery cart from someone who is finishing loading their groceries in their car, baking an extra dozen cookies so that we can share with a newly widowed neighbor, taking the time to make eye contact and smile at a stranger, sending an extra Christmas card to someone you know may be ill this holiday season. Simple things that remind us of the meaning behind the season.

My hope is that you too will find 'my day' inspiring to do something 'extra'.  Something within your means, whether it is simple or ellaborate.  Below is a list compiled from a previous list I have shared and a few extras from this mornings MOPS meeting and a couple I thought of while contemplating what I might do. 

I would love to hear your random acts of kindness and ideas.  And if you are the receiver of a random act of kindness, please share that too!  Please leave your comments below.

*Bake some goodies for a neighbor
*Pay a compliment to someone
*Grab someone's shopping cart for them when they are finished, saving them an extra trip.
*Write a thank you note (even easier a thank you email)
*Surprise a stranger with a flower
*Pay for someone's meal behind you in the drive thru - or even a designated amount. Ie. Pay $5 towards their meal.
*Share some coupon love - give others coupons that you know they can use :-)
*SMILE - at anyone, everyone! You never know who might be needing even just that little bit of love to make it through to the next day!
*Donate your extras to those in need

*Send cards made by your children to those sick in the hospital this holiday season (drop them off at the front desk and inform them to share them with folks they think might need them most)
*Visit a nursing/care home and bring small gifts, goodies, cards, etc for those that may not have family near them.
*Say something nice to someone.  A great example this morning was to compliment someone on how well behaved their child was.  Think of how great that feels as a parent when someone tells you that, repay another parent with the compliment.
*Forgive someone
*Cook a meal for someone
*Scoop someone's snow (when we get some) :-)
*Write a letter to someone that has made a difference in your life
*Thank your parents
*Leave a sticky note on someone's windshield saying kind words (example: You are someone special)
*Randomly send an extra Christmas card to an address in the phone book, go even further and include a gift card (even as little as $5 is a great surprise)
*Offer friends a couple hours of free childcare while they finish shopping, cleaning or treat themselves to something fun
*Leave a note for your significant other (like a sticky note on the bathroom mirror or on the steering wheel of their car)

You never know how much of an impact your random act of kindness will have on the receiver.  It just may be that ray of sunshine they are needing at that moment in their lives.  And I can tell you the feeling you have by following through on a random act of kindness will be well worth it!

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