August 8th is Happiness Happens Day! But we should all to try to make Happiness Happen every day…
There was an article I read a long time ago about a woman who goes about and commits Random Acts of Kindness for others to celebrate her birthday each year (I wish desperately I could find it, but I haven’t been able to yet.) Her article and the happiness she spread inspired myself and the other bloggers on our team to write a list of simple to do acts of kindness. I thought that this was all the blog would be about.
Then this very weekend, something happened to me and my girlfriends.
I had the most incredible encounter of an act of kindness of my entire life. My girlfriends and I were downtown Chicago celebrating my upcoming wedding and after a fun day at the beach we got caught in a flash flood while driving. We had almost zero visibility and we hit a curb, blowing our right passenger tire. Our car was stuck on one of the busiest streets in the middle of downtown Chicago on a four lane, one way street in a turn lane in TWO feet of water. Embarrassingly enough not one of the four of us knew how to change a tire and we couldn’t push the car (due to all of the water) into some place safe. As we are trying and trying to get out of the dangerous lane of traffic…MY CAR DIED. We began begging random people around us for help and so many people just didn’t even look our way. We were about to give up an hour later and I look over and this man was walking down the street on the phone, and I hear him say, “Hold on. I need to call you back, someone needs my help.”
He promptly walks up and asks what the problem is, and I tell him, nearly in tears. He spends over an hour with us. Lying on the soaking wet, dirty ground looking under my car, trying to figure out why it wouldn’t start. He changed my tire. He then stood waving at cars going by, trying to get someone to stop. He waited not only until someone had stopped and jumped the car, but waited there until we were driving away. I couldn’t have given him enough hugs. I got his address because I’m going to send him a card and a gift of some sort. He took so much time out of his day just to make sure we were okay. A perfect stranger. I will never forget him. Thank you, Justin, wherever you are.
Justin changed my mind. I decided that this blog post would have a list of simple ways to commit an act of kindness and stories of experiences people have had with Random Acts of Kindness. Please read on and share any of your ideas or your experiences.
20 Random Acts of Kindness
- Buy someone who needs a meal something to eat nearby instead of giving them change
- Randomly offer a compliment (mean it, too!)
- Let someone get in front of you in line for no reason at all
- Put coupons on products at the store
- Bake cupcakes for a neighbor, place them on their doorstep, ring the bell and run!
- Leave crayons and coloring books in children’s waiting rooms (like the doctor’s office)
- Leave the mailman a treat in the mailbox…not just on Christmas!
- Bring up the neighbor’s garbage cans and bins
- Leave an inspirational note on someone’s windshield
- Put a quarter in a meter that is close to expiring
- Shovel snow off the neighbor’s sidewalk
- Buy the person’s coffee or meal behind you when you’re in a drive-thru
- Stop for someone in trouble (if it is safe) or call help for them
- Smile at someone randomly, especially someone who looks like they need it
- Leave change for a soda in a ziplock bag on a vending machine with a note saying “Have a happy day:)”
- Write “You ARE beautiful” in dry erase marker on the mirror in the bathroom at the gym
- Mow the neighbor’s lawn
- Go to the local dog shelter and spend time with a few (or all!) of the animals
- Leave a favorite or special book of yours somewhere with a note attached explaining that you’d like the next person to have this gift
- Take in a shopping cart for someone in the parking lot
Please add to this list in the comment section below! Now, onto the stories of Random Acts of Kindness either done for the person or that the person has done for someone else:
Stories of Random Acts of Kindness
“My daughter and her baby sitter have been doing random acts of kindness one day a week for the last couple of weeks. The first one they did were these pretty notes of inspiration with sugar cookies that they left for neighbors. The second one was decorated mini flower pots that they also left for the neighbors.” – STH
“At the Children’s Memorial Hospital here in Chicago there are a lot of parents and family members who spend a lot, if not all of their time, there with their kids in the rooms. Every couple of months I go there and offer free haircuts to them right there in the hospital since they have no time to do it and it makes them feel good. And I get to meet the young strong brave children that fight for their lives aganist cancer.” – Ashley Rose
“A girl in front of me at the gas station was buying a coffee and forgot her card and I paid for it. I’ve also put quarters into people’s almost expired meter.” – Stephanie
“While on vacation in Michigan this summer, Brielle and I were on our way out of Meijers [grocery store], and an older gentleman came up to us and gave Brielle a dollar to put towards her college fund. He said he didn’t have any grandchildren, and just wanted to help. I mean, how cute was he?? I know it was only a dollar, but it was the gesture that meant the world to us!” – Heather
“My car died in a Target parking lot, and two guys getting into their car next to me, saw my pain and lack of help, went back into Target, bought jumper cables, and saved my day!” – Gina
“I needed air in my tire and some guy came up at the gas station, put money in the air machine (I had no change) and filled my tires…said that he would want someone to help his sister if that ever happened to her. I also had a guy pump my gas for me while he told me to sit in my warm car last winter because I was shivering while pre-paying for it. I am one lucky gal.” – Crystal
“When I was starting out at Red Lobster, there was an older couple that came in asking if I was going to school… I had explained to them that I was saving for a car and school. They finished their meal, paid their bill, and tipped me 25%. Then as I was cleaning the table, the lady came back in and handed me $50 and said that was to go towards my car, and wished me luck.” – Tifani
“One time on a family road trip we saw a guy and his car stopped in the middle of the expressway waving traffic to go around him…we couldn’t tell what he was doing at first, but he was protecting a mama duck and like ten baby ducks that were crossing the road!” – Alli
“Once, a long time ago….when you could pump your gas and then pay….I had filled up my car and went inside to pay but for some reason my credit card would not work and I had no cash or ATM card. I was about to start crying because I didn’t know what to do and the man in line behind me must have felt bad for me and paid for my tank of gas!! What a nice man!” – Jennifer
“Once, last winter, I was in the grocery store and a woman came up to me, handed me a $20 bill, said “I want you to have this” and walked away. All I could do was stammer thank you.” – Cheryl
Please share any other acts of kindness you’ve witnessed, performed, or had someone do for you! And go out and make some happiness happen for someone today.
If you’re happy, the people around you around bound to be happy. If you’re struggling today check out 5 Simple Ways to Get Happy which focuses on creating your own happiness.
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Loving Wife & Stepmomma
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