I Dream In Digital

Friday, December 17, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I love this time of year. Especially since moving back to Texas. Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed Minnesota...in the summer. The winters were another story. I can only take sub zero temperatures & massive snowfalls for so long. 3 winters was more than enough for me. Ahhhh, Texas. Now this is winter! For the most part there is usually no snow but the weather is cooler. Maybe a coat, but usually a sweatshirt will do.

There is something about people in Minnesota though. Some call it "Minnesota nice". Take the following story as an example. It's a story about a man who lived frugally in life but left an amazing imprint on a small Minnesota community after his death.

That story really struck a nerve with me today. I had already started writing this post when it aired on the NBC Evening News. It was a deliberate act of kindness, but a true act of kindness none the less.

Sometimes in the hustle & bustle of the holidays, we tend to focus on things that in the greater picture, don't really matter. We rush from here to there & pay little attention to what is going on around us. While running errands today, we had a few close calls with drivers who were too focused on things other than the vehicles they were driving. As a promised treat for my daughter's excellent behavior despite feeling under the weather, we went to Chick-Fil-A. As usual, the drive thru was packed. I was patiently waiting my turn to get in line while not blocking traffic when another vehicle turned into the lot to get in the line from the other direction. Then the last car pulled forward. Would the other driver let me in the line where I should be? Would she just go ahead of me like so many others had done before? Much to my amazement and delight, she let me go. I was so happy.

Then, a little voice said to me. "Pay for her meal." I felt like Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams. You know... "If you build it, he will come." I had a laugh and when I got to the window, I paid for our meal, then I paid the order of the vehicle behind me. I just told the stunned employees at the window to tell her "Merry Christmas" for me. It was a small act, a random act of kindness. At the same time, it was big opportunity for me to follow my heart instead of listening to my rational brain pick the whole thing apart.

In this season of giving, what can you do to randomly bless others with kindness?
* make a card for the resident of a local nursing home
* bake some cookies for your neighborhood police or fire station
* rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor
* buy an extra bag of pet food to donate to a shelter
* give blood
* put some change in an expiring parking meter
* donate new baby items to a hospital for a family in need
* give a blanket to a homeless shelter
* leave flowers on the doorstep for a friend who needs a lift
* buy desert for another table at a restaurant
* hold the door open for someone
* leave your change in a vending machine for the next person
* buy the meal for the vehicle behind you at the drive thru

Honestly, the possiblities are endless! What are you going to do? I dare you to do a random act of kindness for someone. No, I TRIPLE dog dare ya!