In 1982, a woman in California scribbled the words, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat in a restaurant. That simple note gained momentum and quickly spread as a message calling all of us to practice caring and compassion. Now, every year during the week of Valentine’s Day, there is an official Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week. This year marked the 20th year that a week has been specifically set aside to celebrate the power of kindness.
Kindness is an act that inspires others to connect, respect, and make a contribution to making your workplace, your home, your community, the nation, and the world a better place to live.
I recently wrote about how to your show love this Valentine’s Day to ones you love. Showing kindness to those outside of our loved ones, is what RAK is all about. It doesn’t have to stop with a designated week of the year. Here are a few simple ways to step up your daily acts of kindness.
- Compliment the first 5 people you encounter each day.
- Volunteer at your favorite non-profit (food bank, animal shelter….)
- Give a card or flowers to someone who is shut in or living in a nursing home.
- Take treats to your local fire station, your day care worker, your beautician, or others that impact your life.
- Say please and thank you with a smile to everyone you see.
For more inspiration, there’s a Random Acts of Kindness website entirely devoted to more ideas of how to celebrate.
Studies show that kindness is contagious. Spreading kindness can start with you. And now, more than ever the world needs a huge dose of kindness, don’t you think?
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transform your life at work and at home, 52 Communication Tips, and Gladie’s Gift.