Hundreds of communities and churches across the country are participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week, February 9-16.

You may have seen the bumper stickers. You may have read the book, Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty (first published by Conari Press in California, in 1991). You may even remember an article by Anne Herbert reprinted in the Readers Digest in the 1980’s.

But, it all started with an inspiration that came to Ms. Herbert in a Sausalito restaurant that caused her to scribble these words on a place mat: “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.”

Stanford University studies show that when people are the recipients of kind words or deeds they are significantly more likely to behave kindly toward others than people who are not offered the same treatment.

Science also shows the kindness benefits the practitioner of the act, as well, rewarding them with increased energy and well-being. Even people viewing the kindness are infused with positive benefits.

Consider Doing These Random Acts of Kindness This Week-

  • An unnamed woman reported she carries umbrellas in her car, and if she’s ever passing by a victim of a downpour, she presents them with a thing of beauty- an umbrella.
  • A toll booth operator reports a significant increase in cars paying for others behind them. It is sometimes a reward for considerate driving, but paying at random for others — at a toll booth or a coffee shop — also gives the provider a delightful feeling.
  • A simple gesture like talking to someone who is alone in line with you is an act of kindness. Be courageous the next time you get an inner nudging urging you to strike up a conversation. Most people have things in common and this kind of interchange can lead to happiness and even laughter, which others in line will envy.
  • Take a coworker to lunch and pay. Think of how it will enhance the work environment.


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