Remember the blog project I did in 2010 with three other women? Well, Froggie decided to resurrect it with me and we each got to invite another friend to join us. She invited a mutual friend (someone I met through her) and I invited a friend whose blog I really enjoy reading. So now it's Froggie, Mom of Many, Moma Rock and Merrylandgirl. Hope you enjoy the topics that we'll be exploring!
This week, Moma Rock picked the topic: What is a random act of kindness you've witnessed, or that you've done, or that someone has done for you?
Before reading ahead, first see what everyone else had to say on this topic:
Mom of Many
When I think of the concept of "Random Acts of Kindness," I associate it with being anonymous and spontaneous. Something you do on the fly like paying tolls for the person in the car behind you, helping a senior citizen load their groceries into their car, giving a crying child a lollipop (with their parents' approval, of course), letting someone go ahead in line at the store, giving someone the use of your cell phone if they need to reach someone immediately, etc.
Having said that, I feel like most of the acts of kindness I commit are intentional and most definitely linked to my name. It doesn't keep me from doing something nice, but I don't feel it's ever completely random either. The most "random" I get is offering to host a new family for a meal when someone at shul puts out an announcement. Even then, I have to first discuss the plans with my husband and it's not all that last minute either.
There are other things I've done just because I want to show I care. I've made care packages for friends studying for tests (as well as my cousin during finals when she was in college) or if they were sick or having surgery. When we lived in NJ, a little boy in our community was attacked by a dog, so I made him a kid friendly care package while he was recuperating. I made another one for a child in our community out here who had to spend the summer in the hospital. When a friend of mine in NJ was going through a tough time, I made an ice cream pie for her because I knew she liked it a lot. There's also the loaves of love I share each time I bake challah. I sometimes distribute them to someone at random and other times because I think they could really use a challah that week. I'll even bring in a challah to work from time to time and leave it in the kitchen for everyone to try.
I also like being able to share things I no longer need. I usually Freecycle, but sometimes I give priority to people I know. I have a friend who knows two babies who need and appreciate any clothes or toys I can give them. While I am glad to finally clear out some of the clothes that have been sitting in our house for years, I'm also sad to see some of it go. However, it's nice to know that another child will put them to good use. A plastic box can't really show off all those cute items!
One of my favorite "random acts of kindness" stories happened when I was working at a Chinese restaurant during my high school years. I had a habit of giving the little cocktail umbrellas or fans to children so they'd be entertained while they had to wait for a table. The parents appreciated it, even though my manager got annoyed because the kids would tear them up and litter them all over the place. One time, a family came in with a girl who had severe disabilities, both developmental and physical. I treated her like every child there and gave her a little fan. Her entire face lit up and her parents were so thrilled. I had to turn away so they wouldn't see me crying. I still get teary-eyed just writing about it over 18 years later.
I hope to continue to find ways to spread the love through whatever acts of kindness I commit, whether they are random or intentional. I try to reciprocate upon the kindness of others, but I also like paying it forward.
Finally, I wanted to share this gathering of photos. It was really touching. It has some wonderful random acts of kindness!