Posted by: chlost | October 11, 2012

Depend upon the kindness of strangers

For some reason, I am finding it difficult to write blog posts. It certainly is not due to a lack of time. I am home all day with not a lot of other things to keep me busy.

It has been hard to think of things to post about. I don’t want to keep focusing on my recovery from surgery. That is boring, and it gets very old, I know.

The political scene is so overwhelmingly disgusting that it does not even tempt me to write about it. Let’s just get this ((7*&%# election over, already!

The world is a mess: A fourteen-year old girl targeted for speaking out about educating girls. And because the attack was not successful, the Taliban is continuing to call for not only her murder, but also that of her father. Lindsey Lohan and her mother getting into a physical fight after “clubbing” together. Convicted child molester Sandusky claims he did not do those “disgusting acts”. A Catholic Archbishop tells a mother that if she does not disown her (gay) son, her soul will burn in hell. The Congressional Republicans hold a hearing about the attack on a US Embassy and end up making public classified CIA operative information. Another little girl has apparently been abducted and is missing. Today is “Coming Out Day”–we need to specify a day because people aren’t able to live their lives just being themselves. Numerologically, the day is special, as it is 10.11.12.


There is nothing in any of that which merits a blog post from me.

But during my rare (!) free time, I was perusing the web, and came across a little story about Random Acts of Kindness .

It is an old idea, but it is still great. In case you haven’t figured it out by the name, someone does a kind act for another person…..randomly, anonymously. A little note may be left behind just to let the beneficiary know that they have been the recipient of such an act. Proof, I guess. Who would believe you otherwise?

A little further search resulted in locating an official website and information about the Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 11-17, 2013).

I have been both the beneficiary and the grantor of such random acts.

A person ahead of me has paid for my coffee at the local drive-through coffee shop. Now that is a great way to start the day. That has actually happened to me twice. At the same coffee shop.

A woman who was a few places ahead of me in the grocery store was not able to pay for her groceries. Her credit card did not work. Her checkbook had been left behind. She had no cash. I hate to admit it, but in the early years of our marriage, my husband and I had an incident like that. It was humiliating, and awful. I watched this woman struggle to figure out what to do. The cashier explained that they would keep the bags at the front of the store for a few hours if she wanted to come back later to pay for them.  It was very difficult to see this woman try to handle the situation. She was nearly in tears.  So I gave the cashier my card and told her to charge it to me. The cashier couldn’t believe it. She must have asked me three times if I was sure. The woman was confused, but very thankful. She wanted my address to send me the money. It was only about $30. I told her that I’d been there, and to pass it along to someone else someday.

Considering the shape of the world, the hatred, lack of civility and the uncaring attitude toward others, I am declaring this to be the Random Acts of Kindness season.

Yes, an entire season. Not just a day, or a week. We are in such sad shape that we need to expand this concept and make an entire season for it.

Wait……let’s make it a year. A year of Random Acts of Kindness.

It is the small, unexpected, and completely random acts which could bring back a sense that there are good people in this world. The little things that can make a difference in how someone sees the world. Think of it as the micro-bank of kindness…….not the multi-million dollar acts given out by a huge non-profit, but a micro act of just a few small kindnesses by one individual which can make a large difference in someone else’s day.

I can’t protect a 14 year-old girl from the Taliban, but maybe I can put a smile on another person’s face for just a few moments.

You do what you can.

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness (Photo credit: mbgrigby)



  1. After my surgery (just over 2 months ago) I found I really couldn’t concentrate well, form logical thought processes, or express myself well…and I just took a little break. I am getting better – the cobwebs are clearing away.

    I like Random Acts of Kindness – maybe a decade is in order?

    • At one month out, still not concentrating. Glad to know it isn’t just me. I hope that it will continue to improve. I may try to read a real book this weekend. So far, blog posts are as much as I can tackle.

      • I started reading books right about 3-4 weeks out, nothing too heavy, and that was all right. Writing really seemed to be more than I could handle, though.

  2. I have deeply appreciated the acts of kindness done for me. But even more, I’ve been enriched by the chances to do a little something for someone else. In fact, I almost feel guilty about how much those moments lift me up.

    • It is one of the few things where both sides benefit. A true win-win proposition. Why don’t we see more of it?

  3. Brilliant! What this world needs is a LOT more kindness. I’m on board with you. Like Secret Agent Woman says, the feeling you get from doing a kindness repays you back three-fold.

    • More kindness….such a concept.

  4. Long ago and far away I used to walk about a block ahead of the meter maid plugging the expired meters. It was fun on a couple of levels and parking was cheaper back then. RA of K should be a part of everyone’s thoughts.

    • I love this!!

  5. Random acts of kindness make the world a little more bearable. I like your story on how you charged the woman’s groceries to your card. I bet she still remembers that!

    I won’t even start on the political stuff…

  6. Long ago, I needed I was short $20 for a bill I needed to pay. A co-worker, who I didn’t know well, heard me telling someone of my cash shortfall. He gave me the $20, and, on payday, when I went to pay him back, he told me to keep it, that there would be a time when I would see someone who needed the $20, and that I should give it to them. I’ve never forgotten that. In the twenty-some years since that incident, I’ve given away the $20 (in cash, or food, or clothing) more times that I can count, and, when people try to thank me, or pay me back, I tell them the same thing my co-worker told me all those years ago: pass it on.

    The ‘karma’ of the kind act comes back to you as well. There have been times where things have worked out in a much better way than what I thought something would, and, I think those little, unexpected Good Results are life’s way of paying me back. If that makes sense….?

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