It's a great feeling when you see someone smile and know you made a difference. Even if it's only for a minute. This is the idea of a random act of kindness. This world-wide phenomenon encourages people to go out and do something nice for someone, even a stranger. It could be as simple as sending a card, book, or anything you know they would like.

You never know how much your one act can spread. For example, maybe you surprise your co-worker with an anonymous gift of a book, and now she's a little happier. So she says something nice to the checkout lady at the grocery store, who feels a little better about herself and so she spends some extra quality time with her kid when she gets home. Her kid is happier in turn so he goes to school the next day and is nicer to a classmate...

Oprah started a similar kindness chain two years ago and it reminded me how much we'd enjoyed doing this in school. You never know just how far your one act will spread.

I started a chain at the nursing home where I work by giving one of the unit coordinators (who appeared to be pretty stressed) a book on cats, because she really likes cats. I had to smile though, because a month after I did it, I received a gift and card stating that I was to commit a random act of kindness too. The idea had spread.

Which reminds me, when you "commit" these kind acts make sure to enclose a little card that states politely that they're to continue the kindness chain. Here are some examples if you need them...

A person I've heard of has committed to helping a person a day online, either answering questions or just sending someone a positive message (it doesn't have to be work related). Actually it's even better if you don't let the recipient know who it was that did the good deed. Just sit back and smile because you know you made their day. More ideas....

1. Pay the toll on the highway/bridge for people behind you.

2. Send someone a card and tell them what it is you think is neat about them.

3. Give someone a hug or a squeeze on the shoulder just because.

4. Pick up the trash in the park and help make it beautiful.

5. Open the door for someone.

6. Look at a "stranger" warmly and say "Hi".

7. Help out your significant other by doing one of their household chores.

8. Offer to baby-sit for a couple who could really use the break.

9. Go to a hospital or nursing home and let someone talk your ears off.

10. SMILE!!!!!!!!!! Smiles are contagious!

I want to briefly mention that you can give these random acts of kindness to yourself also. This used to be a lot harder for me to do. It was much easier to see how I could help others, and I overlooked what I could do for myself. Maybe as you send someone a card telling what a special person they are, send yourself a card too. Or if you decide to give more to your family tonight...give to yourself and take an extra long bath. Remember you are important too.

You will get out of life whatever it is you focus on. So why not focus on the positive? Instead of repeating the negative news you hear, start a kindness chain and give the world something positive to talk about at the water cooler...


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Copyright ?2000 All rights reserved. Kathy Sly & Marc Wiltse

Kathy Sly and Marc Wiltse write Awesome Health's Tutorial. In it they'll teach you how to maximize your prosperity, spirituality, relationships, mind/body, & career. Their refreshing holistic approach to improving your quality of life is unique, clear, and easy to follow. Click here
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