Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thirty Random Acts of Kindness challenge

In a few short days it will be November and what I like to call, “the month of gratitude.” Every year in November I like to pause each day and remember something that I am grateful for. Usually I post these things to social media such as my facebook or more currently instagram. While I know it’s meaningful to say these things out loud and proclaim them to the social media world I thought this year I would try something different. The idea came to me while driving home from the airport from work one night. There are a lot of 30 day challenges floating around – some that involve eating a certain diet, others working out or even abstaining from certain behaviors. Most of these challenges, it seems to me involve improving the self or the ego. After all, what does the world benefit from your bulging biceps or you cutting bread from your diet? Who cares how many times you frequent the gym in 30 days? I wanted to take on a challenge that did not benefit me, but benefited others…anonymously. Instead of saying out loud what I am grateful for or posting to facebook, I have decided I want to pass my blessings on to others. For everything I am grateful for I wanted to help improve someone else's day.

Thirty days of gratitude. Thirty random acts of kindness.

So I have made a list of the 30 random acts of kindness I wanted to perform. They are in no particular order but I have to complete one each day. The beneficiary of my kindness must be random. I also decided I would let my yoga classes and friends via social media know my plans so that it might inspire them as well. Imagine if we all stopped thinking of ourselves for a moment and thought of a way we could help someone else with no applause. It’s part of the idea that people won’t remember your name, what you look like, or what you said but they will always remember how you made them feel. Well I want to make people feel good and I hope others join me in this.

Here’s my list:

  1. Buy the person behind me in line’s coffee
  2. Leave the mailman a nice note
  3. leave a flower on a strangers car
  4. buy someone something from their baby registry at random on amazon
  5. give blood
  6. give a homeless person gloves/hat
  7. feed an expired parking meter
  8. shovel neighbors driveway when it snows
  9. send someone dessert in a restaurant
  10. leave a compliment on a mirror
  11. leave change in a vending machine
  12. leave a quarter in a gumball machine
  13. leave a nice note for the next flight attendant
  14. leave candy for the next flight attendant
  15. leave a $1 in my favorite book at the book store
  16. leave a $1 somewhere random for someone to find
  17. donate a meal for thanksgiving at the grocery store
  18. donate hotel toiletries to a woman’s shelter
  19. send a just because note to someone I haven’t talked to in awhile in my address book
  20. bring a treat for my flight crew
  21. Send a card to someone in the military overseas
  22. let someone go ahead of me in line at the grocery store
  23. give a lottery ticket to a stranger
  24. leave a book/magazine somewhere for someone to read
  25. leave $5 on a pack of diapers at the store
  26. give someone a sincere compliment
  27. leave an inspirational note in a book at the book store
  28. write a nice sidewalk chalk note at the park
  29. fill up the water containers and baggies at the dog park
  30. tip 100%

“Great acts are made up of small deeds” – Lao Tzu

I know I have much to be thankful for each and every day. My health, my family, my friends, my job, my daughter, my life…I could count my blessings forever. I don’t think any of these small acts in and of themselves will change the world but I know they will change someone’s day and make it a little brighter.

Thirty acts of kindness. Thirty days of gratitude. Starting November 1st. It’s not much…but it’s a start.


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