Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day 2: World Kindness - #RandomActsOfKindness

Happy 2nd day of my Random Acts of Kindness Project! I hope you enjoy the first day, and now it's time for the second to be underway.

One of the great things about setting off to undergo a bunch of random acts of kindness during a single week is that it faces you to get out of the house and into the world at large, where your kindness can really make an impact on the people in your community. Don't just leave random acts to the people that live under the same room as you! Get out there and make some magic!
Loose change everywhere! There are always going to be those moments where you don't have that one bit of change that you need. This might be when you want to get a snack from the vending machine, or when you're short on your bus fare and are faced with the concept of having to walk all the way home. Don't let that happen!

One great thing to do is to tape some change to a vending machine or a pay phone so that somebody else can benefit from it. Leaving a little note like in this picture above (stolen from Pinterest) is a great idea as well. You can also ask your local bus driver if you can leave him some extra change in case anyone might be short on their fare for that day - it might be best to try this with a bus driver that you have some sort of rapor with, so that they won't see the change as a free gift. Of course there's nothing wrong with rewarding your bus driver with a small gift, but we'll take a look at that tomorrow.

Another fun thing to do with any loose change you might have is to drop it on the ground. Whether it's a penny, nickel, or a shiny loony (Americans need not apply), kids love picking up spare change, and sometimes adults can take pleasure in it as well. Ever since I read the book Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, where Stargirl is always trying to spread a little joy by dropping loose change wherever she goes, I have tried to emulate this idea and carry the spirit of Stargirl with me in this little act of kindness.
Spread the positivity! There are a bunch of ways that you can spread positive messages throughout your community. I decided to pick one of the many fun options to secretly try arrange some positivity that people might stumble upon the next day. If you're feeling a bit daring, write a few positive messages on some post-it notes and stick them onto a mirror in a public bathroom. It can be at your school, where you work, or even a local shopping center if you happen to get there at a time where there aren't many people around that need to do their business. This is a project often taken on by the people behind Operation Beautiful, and they have a whole bunch of ideas similar to this one that will help you spread the love and the positivity.
Spread the word! I have seen others who are either trying to spread the word about various charities or church organizations do this, and even a few that just wanted to spread a little love in their communities, so I decided to undertake this task as well: Handing out free flowers to strangers in the name of random kindness :) My mother was also gracious enough to make up some tags that I handed out with the flowers (some of the tags even fit right on the stems) to let people know my reasons for wanting to make them smile, and hopefully that in turn inspired them to make somebody else in their life smile that needed their day brightened.

This was really fun, and it's something that anybody can do! All that was really needed was to buy a cheap bouquet or two of flowers, cut them down at home so the stems were a more manageable size, and presto! Free gifts for strangers! I'll admit, not all strangers will want to carry around a flower with them for the rest of the day, and you will face some rejection if you want to try this yourself, but don't let yourself get discouraged. My neighbors in particular that were outside on the day my friends and I were wielding flowers were very receptive and grateful for the free gift. We brought smiles to people's faces, and I couldn't be happier! 

Here are some other suggestions on how you can spread the idea of Random Acts of Kindness day to the world around you.

Leaving notes on people's windshields may seem like a good idea, but you may have a sensitive car alarm to contend with XP Another idea is to leave little notes in people's mail boxes instead!

Another fun place to leave RAK notes or just little positive messages would be on bus or train seats, at seminar tables at school, or even on a memo board at your work.

Something fun I once did with a friend was to create these notes or fun little riddles and then hide them in books at the library. You can do the same thing!

Look forward to my post tomorrow! On Wednesday I'm going to get into how you can gift your way to love and kindness. Time to indulge those around you! If you want to try out any of these suggestions yourself, post about them on social media with #WrittenWordsRAK - Until then, I'll keep you posted!

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