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Have You Ever Initiated or Received a Random Act of Kindness?

Paying it forward, random acts for no reason ... have you ever had the opportunity to share one or been the recipient of a random act of kindness?

Locally, we occasionally hear of an out-of-the-blue act of kindness — usually at a drive-through — that brings a smile to the face of the receiver and sometimes brings about a whole change in the outlook on the day. More times than not, the recipient of the free meal, coffee or even baskets of groceries is inspired to pass it on or pay it forward to the next person. 

Thus was the act of kindness that resulted in a day of free coffee for hundreds of people at a shop in Winnipeg, Canada. 

After the Newtown shooting, a movement began to perform 26 Acts of Kindness — one in honor of each of the victims. Facebook pages have been dedicated to the effort and there's even a Twitter hashtag, #26Acts, spurred by Ann Curry of NBC.

Admit it. Whenever a Facebook friend posts a status update or a tweet comes across from someone we know who has been the recipient of even such small or large generosity, it changes our whole outlook on humanity, doesn't it? These little gifts that remind us, no matter the fiscal cliffs and ugliness that makes the headlines, there is still good left in the world.

 Need some ideas that are pretty easy to do?

  • Buy coffee for the person behind you in line
  • Rake leaves for a neighbor
  • Buy lunch for a homeless person
  • Send flowers to a rehab facility
  • Buy a veteran's meal
  • Write your child's teacher a thank-you note
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Donate during a local blood drive
  • Spend some time at a senior center
  • Send a treat to your local fire department
  • Send a treat to a day care center
  • Volunteer to read in a school

Have you ever participated in a random act of kindness? Tell us about it. 

Mickey Martin January 04, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I was very inspired by Ann Curry and her idea about 26 random acts of kindness. I started to look for ways to help others. In November, I opened a shop on Etsy called The Cottage Doors. When the New Year rolled in, I wanted to do something on a bigger scale. I have made a commitment to donate 5% of all my shop's sales in 2013 to the Wounded Warrior Project. I hope people will support me in this endeavor, but I also hope people will be inspired like I was to make an effort to look outward instead of inward at the world and reach out in kindness. Happy 2012 everyone. Mickey M.
Cecilia January 04, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I have practiced acts of kindness in secret for many years. However, this year I decided to participate in the 26 acts of kindness for the victims of the CT shootings. I had my 11 year old granddaughter with me for the Christmas school holidays, so I let her watch kindness-in-action. I told her what I would be doing up-front. I kept a running count of my acts and told the cashier, or fast food window worker to please tell the intended receiver they were # _ out of 26 to receive an act of kindness for the victims of the CT shootings. I think it made a big impression on her, and she sees at her young age, you don't have to approach strangers to be kind.
Vanezza Prado January 04, 2013 at 05:50 PM
I stopped at a local QT on Memorial Day weekend to gas up before heading to North Carolina and as I stood at the counter waiting to pay, an older gentleman who looked kind of down and out approached the counter with 2 crumpled dollar bills in his hand and a drink with a hotdog for his lunch...something told me to pay for his meal and I did. The man must have thanked me 3 or 4 times before I left the store and again outside in the parking lot. I was more than happy to have committed this random act of kindness and hopefully inspired others in the store to do the same <3
Jim S January 04, 2013 at 06:45 PM
You guys are all winners in my book. I truly believe that showing kindness and care for others will enrich your life beyond measure. I was raised to helped others when I can, and honor my mother's memory by following her teachings daily. This in no way makes me a pushover, as I also carry a CCP and strongly believe in personal defense. It would be a better world if we could spend our time caring for others and not have to worry about protecting ourselves!
SUNKEN SUB January 04, 2013 at 07:33 PM
* With all this Kindness abounding. It's getting as bad as the deer problem Uncle Grouch My great Nephew, Dylan's name for me. :)
Jim S January 04, 2013 at 07:35 PM
S. Sub...we have ways of handling the deer problem...thinning the heard prevents starvation and death by being struck by cars. In my mind, that is kindness, too. :)
Mr. B January 04, 2013 at 07:44 PM
I may have and I may not have. Only the recipients, if any, would know.
SUNKEN SUB January 04, 2013 at 07:58 PM
I guess my tongue wasn't as far in my cheek as my foot was in my mouth. I suffer from acute sarcasm from time to time :)
Amy January 04, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Way to go Vanezza. QT is always the spot where somebody just needs a little break.
Good Grief Y'all January 04, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Yes. We won't all be heroes, but we can all be kind.
Jim S January 05, 2013 at 12:53 AM
S. Sub, HA, the joke is on me.. I am sorry I could not hear the tone of your typing!
SUNKEN SUB January 05, 2013 at 01:11 AM
ABH and the Walton Triburinal allow icons to get across subtle meanings. Hear THAT Patches. ? Liberate the icons. Since WT went to pay to publish, you see very few comments. Hear that Brian Arrington ? In the mean time, we just have to muddle along :) smile
miles raymond January 05, 2013 at 03:39 AM
i've never been the recipient of a random act of kindness, but i've been the victim of random acts of malice...i'm hoping to change all that on monday when i go to miami in search of a ticket to the bcs game...
Susan S January 05, 2013 at 12:24 PM
I have paid for food and coffee for a police officer behind me several times. Also tolls for people behind me. Years ago I brought a Thanksgiving dinner and other needs to a homeless man living under a bridge when I lived in Fl. Turns out at one time the police said he was a professor of math and one day just walked away from life. Really nice man and sad he had no one to call family.
Wallflower January 05, 2013 at 03:06 PM
I do little things for people whenever I can. I live in an apartment complex, today I put a nice down coat outside with a note FREE WARM COAT. Hope it gets nabbed by someone that really needs it.
SUNKEN SUB January 05, 2013 at 03:28 PM
* Be sure to visit Overtown, the folks there are generous with gunfire.
Sharon Swanepoel January 05, 2013 at 03:33 PM
While in a restaurant in San Diego a couple of months ago, my husband and I were having lunch and an elderly man, obviously down on his luck, asked if we could buy him a burger. My husband said sure and gave him $5 for the burger. The man went straight to the counter to buy it. My husband thought for a while and then went up to the counter, asked for the $5 bill back and told the clerk to let him buy whatever he wanted to eat. He ordered a full meal and we left with him sitting down to a decent meal, with the soda and everything else that went along with it. Something small, but absolutely worthwhile.
SUNKEN SUB January 05, 2013 at 03:34 PM
* Was his nameTed Kaczynski ?
Wallflower January 05, 2013 at 04:08 PM
I'm not sure what you mean, Sunken Sub. I'm in a duplex unit and put it on a little stairs in front by the parking lot. Maybe I should go hang it on a tree!
Gail Lane January 05, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Having been the recipient of a random act at a drive-thru, I can tell you that it changed my day. So much so that I wanted to make a difference in someone else's life in such a positive way, so I paid it on to the next person. Random acts of kindness can sometimes have a domino effect and that's pretty neat. (A word you just don't hear anymore, but as I promised, I'm trying to not use "awesome" or "amazing"). :)
Wallflower January 05, 2013 at 04:41 PM
OK, I went out and hung it from a sign. :-)
SUNKEN SUB January 05, 2013 at 05:04 PM
* Can't be TOO careful, If only Hulk Hogan lived in the other side of the duplex ? Even the bit of info about living in a duplex narrows the search by Mr Mayhem. -;)
SUNKEN SUB January 05, 2013 at 05:05 PM
* I HOPE you placed it in front of someone else's door, no need to be TOO charitable. :)
Wallflower January 05, 2013 at 05:16 PM
But do you know what city I am in?
SUNKEN SUB January 05, 2013 at 05:32 PM
* If you BLEND in like your screen name, If you are Katie Perry and such, .................... "But do you know what city I am in?" I AM NOT Mr. Mayhem, but he might. :| STARE
Wallflower January 05, 2013 at 05:51 PM
I don't think he could ID me by this post. But thanks for the warning.
Maria A. January 06, 2013 at 02:20 PM
I thought I would not leave a post, but you all have inspired me....at least most of you have. :) I have a habit of stopping at accident scenes if I feel my services are needed. If the police have not yet arrived, and if I feel assistance is warranted, I do whatever is needed....directing traffic around the accident, calling family for victims, speaking reassuring words to the injured, providing blankets for children, small stuffed animal for children (keep toys and blankets in my vehicle), holding umbrellas during rainstorms for EMT's, etc. Once I stayed with a child when he was injured and had no parent at the scene. He was afraid he was going to die (7 years old), and it ripped my heart out. I have never regretted stopping and offering assistance, although it does change the outcome of my day. I hope those who are helped pay it forward, and I am sure they do. One day I may need someone to help me.....and I'm sure God will send someone to me. I don't generally give any details to others, except my first name if it is necessary to introduce myself. These posts are inspiring, as it shows the sensitivity of humans to reach out to others....except in the case of some who think they are "cute" when sarcastic about the openness of those sharing. God bless you all.
Good Grief Y'all January 07, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Maria, you have taken this discussion to the highest level. God bless you for what you do! I'm sure He has, many times over. :)
ayana wellington May 20, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Cheryl, it seems that people can be a bit delusional when it comes to doing good deeds. A lady claimed she was helping me out and turned out she was actually trying to destroy my relationship with my child. My child said this lady was verbally abusive and she told my child that she was a thief, liar, and that her mother did not want her. I was terrified and felt betrayed by this lady. She continually tries to intimidate my child when she sees her. I wish she would just leave her alone. Those wolves in sheeps clothing pretending to be an aid to others and in all actuality is a person's worst enemy. Thank goodness there are still some genuine people out there that exist.
Tammy Osier May 20, 2013 at 02:18 AM
many years ago, I worked in a daycare and had a child on a heart monitor. Our doctor bills were very high and little did anyone know, we could barely put food on the table. The director, who was a Christian, felt led to do a very nice thing. One day, as I was leaving, I went to my car and it was filled to the brim with groceries! I cried all the way home, but my experiences with people like that is what has made me who I am today. Recently, in the jail, we had a thanksgiving service. Some of the girls got up and one told how she had been in and out of jail since she was 13. She was a runaway, and kept coming back to the jail due to her mother's boyfriends and their advances on her. She said that each time she came back, there we were. She said that she was suspicious of whether God really was like we said, but that our faithfulness to them proved it to them. She said that now she's 17, and then all the girls said that instead of being like they were taught, they wanted to be godly women and help girls like them. Who knew? We were just treating people the way we want to be treated. One act of kindness to me caused me to want to do the same. I don't think people realize the power that is in it.

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