The concept of Random Acts of Kindness is fun, but completely insane. Wait before you shoot me down, or just go ahead and shoot me down, you decide… and that’s just it. Every moment of our lives we are making minute, often subconscious, decisions about how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. Some of these decisions were made a while ago and we’re on automatic pilot. However we are still conscious of the process however subconscious or automatic it is. And those minute decisions make all the difference to our lives and those of others.
And no action is random, however random it seems, there is a very un-random intention behind it.
If you undermine the confidence of your children, friends, family, colleagues, employees, strangers on a daily basis then buy them a pony for Christmas and tell them how much you love them in the card attached, which one is going to have the lasting effect?
And why did you do it? Was it for them or for you? If you really loved them so much… you’d know that a pony for Christmas with all your love scribbled on a card is not what they wanted, they wanted your every day support of their confidence, because that will last them a lifetime and they will pass it on. The pony will probably die.
Moving on from sad thoughts of dead ponies…
It’s the tiny imperceptible everyday every moment gestures, the minuscule acts of kindness, which we take for granted and hardly notice, which add up over a lifetime and have a great impact. Not the single grand gesture of kindness which is trying to make up for all the times meanness was the order of the day.
Take a moment to pause and consider how many acts of kindness you commit in a day. I’m not talking about grand conscious gestures. Little things, the ones you may have stopped noticing. Such as saying please and thank you. Smiling at and greeting someone. Offering to help in a task which may be very ordinary and quick, and over in the blink of an eye. Checking to see if there is someone following closely behind you as you pass through a door and holding it long enough for them to get it so it doesn’t slam in their face. Asking people how they are and listening to their reply, maybe even offering a word or two of support, nothing major, just a little boost of friendship between humans.
And while you’re doing that… consider how many times you refrain from committing a random act of meanness. Not deliberate meanness, but just a moment of being oblivious to others. You could hang up the phone as soon as you’re done, but you don’t. You could ignore people who want your attention when you haven’t got any to give, but you always have a little bit extra which you give anyway. You could eat that last slice of pizza without thinking about asking anyone else if they want it. Drink straight from the cartoon and to hell with passing on spit and germs. You could not wash your hands after a trip to the toilet. You could just genuinely not give a fuck about someone’s opinion, but you do, a bit.
Now consider how mean you could be if you were given carte blanche. You could kill anyone you want to kill, perhaps just because they’re blocking your view of the screen at the cinema or eating their popcorn too loudly. Stab someone for giving you their opinion and say with a wicked laugh – And THAT is what I think of your opinion! Slap people when they insult you. Insult people because they’re annoying you. Lash out and let loose because you’ve had enough of social niceties and laws and rules and everything else which is crushing your spontaneous spirit. You could steal stuff, why queue for hours to wait for your turn to pay for something which is probably overpriced and will fall apart as soon as the warrantee runs out, when you can just pick the thing up and walk out. If a security guard tries to stop you, you could shoot him. You could tell your boss, your family, your friendly neighbourhood busybody neighbour exactly what you think of them and walk away without giving a fuck how they react to it. And if they chase you… well, you know, that gun you stole from the shop still works.
And if you’re able to do or not do something, so is everyone else. Therefore for every minute act of kindness you’re committing towards others, they are doing the same to you. Not killing you, slapping or stabbing or shooting you, not stealing from you or telling you what they really think of you and your opinions and advice. They’re thanking you, holding the door until you reach it, helping you with a trivial task, asking you how you are and listening to you, offering a tiny moral boost.
We’re all in this world together and we commit random yet not so random acts of kindness every second of our lives to make living together easier, and more pleasurable.
Sure there is a lot of meanness and pain, but it has yet to be more than the kindness and pleasure.
Want to commit a random act of kindness right now – give yourself a pat on the back or a hug or a slice of cake or a cup of decadent something and say thank you me for being an awesome being! If you don’t like the word awesome, use something else. Just be kind to yourself with random abandon, you deserve it.
Comments are always welcome on my posts as a random act of self expression.
If I really don’t like the comment, which is rare but has happened, I will commit a random act of not approving them and you can commit a random act of thinking I’m an ass. And we will both commit a random act of kindness by letting it go and moving on from it.
ps. In reply to the bit in this prompt about a ‘secret’ random act of kindness – if it’s a secret it’s staying that way!