By Melissa Chapman
Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Random Acts of Kindness Week is Feb. 14-20. This week has grown in popularity among individuals, groups and organizations nationwide. It is a favorite day as people everywhere enjoy doing acts of kindness. Not only do the acts of kindness bring joy to the receiver, but they spread positive reactions to the giver, too.
How can we as humans observe random acts of kindness? We can make a note to do nice things throughout the week. 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 pantry. Mail a “thinking of you” card to someone you’ve not talked to in a while. Send a thank-you note to the local fire department, police departments or any military personnel. One of the best things you can do is just smile.
The library has got you covered when it comes to books on kindness. “Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Days of Good Deeds, Inspired Ideas and Acts of Goodness” by Brenda Knight is true stories about acts of kindness and generosity of spirit and gives suggestions for living more compassionately.
If you want something for the kids then we have “Calm Monsters, Kind Monsters: A Sesame Street Guide to Mindfulness” by Karen Latchana Kenney. In this book, Sesame Street characters present big emotions readers have likely faced alongside simple solutions like belly breathing to help kids cope with what they’re feeling. “The Warrior Challenge: Eight Quests For Boys To Grow Up With Kindness, Courage and Grit” by John Beedle discusses how to raise caring, thoughtful, respectful young men, teaching them to become humans of a higher standard who embrace their emotions and feelings.
Kind words and actions can seem so small but their effects are truly endless. All of these acts of kindness contribute to a bigger story, a message that random acts embody and promote — that you too can conquer the world one random act of kindness at a time.