26 Random Acts: Roundup #2…And Thoughts on RAK

by Jen on February 11, 2013

It’s time for the second random acts of kindness project round up. The overwhelming feedback on this project has been positive but I have been really sad to discover that there has been some negative criticism. I just want to take a minute to share with you what I talked about in my yoga class yesterday.

These acts of kindness aren’t meant to change the world. They are meant to create subtle shifts in mindsets. That means getting out of your own head and opening your eyes to see how you can live your day to day life in a more kind and loving way. Yes, the “buy the person behind you coffee” thing has become a little cliche but that small gesture might bring a smile to someone’s face and create a small shift in their mindset for the day. In an ideal world we would have unlimited funds and time to support all of the worthy causes out there but that is simply not the reality of life.

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Life is beautiful. Life is messy. Life is complicated. Unimaginable things happen that make us question everything. In the wake of these unimaginable tragedies (like Sandy Hook), we look for things that make us feel good. Things that make us feel like we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. Oftentimes a sense of community and the belief that you’re part of a community that is working to focus on good and positive can be comforting, uplifting and empowering. We have to focus on living each day to its fullest and treating everyone we encounter with respect and love.

What is the point of tearing down people and communities? What is the point of judging the actions of others, especially when they were done with kind and loving intentions? Tell me how that uplifts any person or community? It doesn’t. And I don’t know how it can possibly feel good to judge someone for doing something nice, even if it is just buying someone a cup of coffee.

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I tell my yoga classes over and over again. Do good, be good, follow the path of things that make you feel good and focus on seeing good in everything you do. This is how we lift up not only ourselves but also our friends, families and communities. Your life will take the shape of the energy you put out into the universe…good or bad.

Did you know that this is Random Act of Kindness Week? Check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s site for more details and ideas. I love the range of activities they suggest. There’s everything from “pay for the person behind you” to “read to the elderly” to “be kind to someone you dislike.” There are pages and pages of ideas to read through.

All that said, here’s round up number two. I hope you enjoy and that it brings some warmth to your heart.


1. Sierra G.
Bake Cookies for a neighbor you haven’t met. I live in a high rise condo building in Chicago, so instead of leaving cookies at a random door, I sent them in an empty elevator. I just placed a bag of delicious cookie in the elevator with a note about the 26 Acts of Kindness and said a prayer that they would find their way into someone who needed to hear the message and could use a sweet pick me up.

Think about people in your community that make a difference and Thank Them. My doorman is the nicest man and when I recently had a visitor from overseas come to our apartment, I came down to the lobby to see him chatting with her and just being a lovely host. I thought how beautiful is it that my guests are welcomed by someone so friendly and polite before they even reach my door.  He also does little things every day that make my life easier and seeing his smiling face every time I get home is a joy. He is a true gem and I wanted to Thank him in a BIG way.
2. Tara S. - My work was holding a peanut butter drive for a local food pantry that supplies 800 jars a MONTH of pb to locals in need. They choose pb because it’s a great kid friendly source of fat and protein. I thought donating pb would be perfect for an act of kindness for your blog !  : )I didn’t know what number I was on Team 6, so I just picked 12 as it was the next one available.  I donated 12 jars of pb to the food pantry.  I googled and found the first list that numbered the victims.  I choose the 12thchild on the list who happened to be Charlotte Bacon. She was a beautiful young girl that oddly looks a little bit like me at her age. Her mother described her as “an exuberant, bubbly child who was willing to argue for the things that appealed to her.”  This struck me because my mother always told me what an argumentative child I was (well still am). Isn’t it weird how I randomly choose to do this and pick #12 and find a kid that touches my heat so much ? I guess it just shows how we are all connected if we allow ourselves to look around.3. Angela T. –  Wow. This has been interesting. When you first posted about arranging this, the first idea that popped into my head was to hit Target and put together some kits with basic need items (aspirin, band aids, hand wash, granola bars, bottled water) to hand out to those who may need it. With the weather flip flopping so much, I wanted to do something to help a little for those needing it.Then life happened. My sister-in-law went into pre-term labor and had to be put on bedrest at 32 weeks. This caused my errand running to stop and change direction to the hospital. After two days, she and the baby were deemed stable but she is remaining in the hospital until it is closer for the baby to be delivered. So, her mother and I decided to make better use of our time pacing the place and still perform a random act of kindness. We made up signs with your wording as well as contact information and included a suggestion that if they needed a dollar to take one and if not, then consider leaving one. In each of the breakrooms at the hospital, we hung these signs with envelopes filled with a few dollars on the soda or coffee machines in all the breakrooms. We did this last Monday.

As of this morning, kindness is overabundant. We were checking on our envelopes to see if any needed to be refilled or were even being used. In one particular envelope, not only were a few $1 bills there but there was also a $20 bill. While my sister-in-law is resting this afternoon, her mother and I are going to head over to the Target and use the $20 to get the stuff to make up kits to hand out to those in need. We are also going to grab some Hershey kisses that are the mixed chocolates called the hugs so that we can leave those around the hospital for anyone needing a “hug.”

Thank you for thinking of doing this as it has become quite contagious and has helped us think of others during an otherwise stressful time. We are channelling our nervous energy and realizing how easy it is to do just a little something to make another person’s life better.

4. Susanne H. - I was excited when I saw your post about the Random Acts of Kindness to honor those that lost their lives that tragic day, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it!  I wasn’t sure what my random act was going to be, but I couldn’t wait to do it! I remember sitting at church that next Sunday, and when they passed the bucket around for a collection, I felt a tug on my heart that I needed to donate!  I don’t always carry around cash (actually very rarely), but I had recently been to the ATM and knew I had a $20 in my wallet. Not that this was my “random act of kindness” because my husband and I want to tithe on a regular basis…and we haven’t been! But the act did feel good and I’m not sure I would have felt that nudge or reminder otherwise.

Later that week I had a pretty terrible start to the day. It started with leaving my neighborhood on my commute to work (this was in the middle of the days full of rain and no sun), when my car started to slow down on it’s own, and then I noticed my engine light came on (which I later found out through my manual it’s actually called the car malfunction light…how appropriate). No matter how hard I pushed my foot on the pedal, my car would not speed up. Of course I think it’s dying (it’s 11 years old) and start freaking out. We just bought a new car so we couldn’t afford a 2nd new car! It was raining, I was going to be late for work, I didn’t know what to do.  I putt-putted my way out of the neighborhood and turned into the local oil change shop close to our house (at this point my car was sending out a not-so-good smell). I thought maybe they could look at it when they opened.  Well, it was 6:30 AM and they didn’t open until 8:00. After sitting there for a little while (in the dark and in the rain), I started to think I probably needed to get it to the dealership. I called my insurance company, got them to send a tow truck (thank goodness a few months ago I added roadside assistance to my insurance plan, well worth the extra $5 per 6 months!), and got towed to the dealership. I dropped it off, picked up a rental car, and made it to work about 3 hours later. Of course in my head they are going to call me and say my car is done and will cost more to fix than it’s worth (if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m pretty good at worrying). Later that day, I got an email from a fellow group fitness instructor making sure I was still set to teach with her at 5:30 that night…..I had thought we were teaching at 6:30! Had she not emailed me to confirm, I would have showed up at the gym at 6:15, ready to teach, and would have totally missed the class.  That definitely would have topped off my day!  But her email started to turn the day around – now i wasn’t going to miss the class. And then I got a call from the dealership, and my car could be fixed and though it’d still cost me a little bit of money, it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be!  My day was turning around, and it was then that I knew I needed to perform my random act of kindness soon!  I thought I owed it to someone :).

I went to pick up my car the next morning, and I wanted to stop by Chick Fil A to pick up breakfast on the way home.  I decided my random act of kindness was going to be paying for the person behind me in the drive thru!  I prepped for it by putting together a little index card that had the statement on the front, and then I added a bible verse on the back that I thought was appropriate (pictures attached). As I pulled up to place my order, noone was behind me. I was afraid noone would pull in for me to pay for, but sure enough after I placed my order and started to make my way to the first window, two other cars pulled up. As I paid for mine, I told the cashier I wanted to pay for the person behind me, and I gave her the index card and asked her to give it to her.  I felt really good, but I also felt like I had to speed off before the girl behind me got her order! Not sure why :).  Anyway, a chicken biscuit and a sweet tea didn’t cost me much, but it definitely made my heart feel good, and I hope the girl that was behind me feel good too!Later that week, I had lunch with a girl I recently met in November. I had been praying for her and her husband earlier this year as they faced a very difficult summer due to some serious and unexplainable health issues their little boy faced. It was so great to actually meet them a few months later, and it turns out they live close to where I work. We had been planning to get together for lunch since November, and we finally were able to! It was so great to catch up, we both needed it!  I found out her and her husband were taking in a teenager for a few weeks who has been through so much at such a young age. Not only do they still have doctors appointments and medication to manage for their child, and the stress of jobs and school, but they are also doing everything they can to support a teenager and help her in her time of need. I wanted to help them however I could, and it was then I realized I had a bag full of clothes in the corner of our guest room I had recently cleaned out of my closet and was going to try and sell at a local consignment store, or just to donate. I asked what size the teenager was, and she told me similar to me – so I knew these clothes needed to go to her! This act might have been a little more random, but still felt just as good :).I hope to keep random acts of kindness a part of my life. It’s so easy to give back in so many different ways, and I do think one reason we are here is to just be kind to one another!

5. Paige B. - Recently the hallway just outside my apartment was repainted. Before, it was dingy and utilitarian; now, it is a warm, welcoming shade of brown that I enjoy seeing each time I come or go. So for my random act of kindness, I left a thank-you note for the paint crew!

6. Shanna O. –  Since getting my assignment, I kept racking my brain for the ‘perfect’ act of kindness.  I don’t know why I wasn’t thinking more from the heart from the get go.  That’s when it dawned on me that kindness is felt not thought.  I decided to buy 2 dozen donuts for work because one of my favorite joys as a child was going to the store with my Grandpa and choosing our donuts to eat (usually chocolate on chocolate).  I’m hoping that they bring a moment of joy to each that has one and perhaps that person will perpetuate their own act of kindness.

7. Ann Marie E. - Last night I purchased a $10 gift card at Whole Foods, attached it to a note, and left it in a shopping basket near the front of the store. I hope whoever receives it truly does ‘pay it forward’.

8. Jill F. - For my act of kindness I left a 5$ gift card to Starbucks for my mail lady. Thanks for organizing this, it was fun to read ideas online and come up with something to do. Some of the ideas online were amazing! I am hoping to keep this up and do a random act of kindness once a month.

9. Pam L. - I baked your cranberry, chocolate, oatmeal cookies and cooked lunch for two elderly ladies. They are both widows and lonely so what better way to brighten my day than share a few hours with these precious ones. I didn’t take ant photos, sorry. My day was truly blessed! Thank you for the encouragement to do this. Hopefully, all across the country people being kind will cause much love, peace and happiness.

10. Allie W. –  
I live in NYC and one of my favorite running routes is down by the East River. Early morning runs offer some gorgeous views of NYC just waking up, and it’s always a very peaceful run. While it’s 100% safe, there is a large homeless population that sleeps by the river under partially covered pavilions that line the path.One morning I noticed someone lifting weights under one of the pavilions– he was hardly dressed for the cold temperature (and much less so for weight lifting), but there he was, getting in an early morning workout. I was so inspired by his dedication that I wanted to help, but since I was running, I didn’t have anything to give him. So I decided for my random act of kindness that I would leave some warm clothes in the pavilion I spotted him in– I put together a bag filled with socks, a coat, hat, hand warmers, and gloves, and left it on the bench under the pavilion.I don’t know if he’ll find them or if someone else will, but hopefully the person who finds the bag is someone who needs them to stay warm this winter. Running the mile and a half to the drop-off spot with the bag was a bit of a challenge- but I kept thinking of the man lifting weights to put my small inconvenience in perspective. I’m lucky to be able to run and have warm running clothes- and now, hopefully, he’ll be a bit warmer too!


11. Becca P. - Walked my friends dog while she was out on a cold rainy night.12. Krista L. - I paid for the person behind me at Chick fil A. I don’t have a picture because I felt strange about taking a picture of the drive thru person. (I agree, that could be awkward :))13. Mickelle M. - For my random act of kindness I paid for the car behind me at Starbucks a few days ago. I gave the Barsita a piece of paper to give to them with the Sandy Hook message.

14. Leila D. - I left $5 cash in an envelope on a random car in the Whole Foods parking lot.  I tried to get a picture of the car but it was too dark.  Thanks for putting this together and for inspiring me daily with your blog!15. Katie O. - For my Act of Kindness, I bought a $15 gift card from Wal-Mart and a bouquet of flowers, and left it on a car in the parking lot.  My husband and I especially picked out a mini-van with some of those kid stickers on the back, trying to target a family with young children in honor of those lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy.  We also decided we would like to make acts of kindness a regular thing for our 2013, and hope to do about one a week!

16. Mary Heather
For my act of kindness, I wanted to do something that would be random and free (as an extra challenge to myself, as most of the initial ideas I had involved me buying something for another person – also great acts of kindness, but I enjoyed brainstorming more until I thought of something that didn’t cost anything but time). I also wanted my act to be anonymous while I was doing it (until this post is published of course). After thinking for a while, I realized that I could perform an act of kindness for my neighborhood by picking up litter. I brought an extra bag with me when I went out with my dog Charlie for his walk. It’s a two-mile loop, and I picked up every piece of litter I saw. By the end of the walk, I’d gathered a small bag full of trash – mostly crushed cans and fast-food wrappers. I snapped a picture (attached) before throwing it away. I realized that this is the type of act I can easily keep up, and now plan to regularly bring along an extra bag when I’m out walking my dog.

17. Megan C. -I attend The Ohio State University and it has been frigid outside lately, so for my act I decided to warm up someone’s cold January day with a few bucks to buy a cup of coffee. I taped this note up on a campus bathroom mirror with the hopes of adding a little sunshine to someone’s day!One of my favorite quotes is, “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” And I can definitely say that I felt a sense of optimism, positivity, and love all day just by doing ONE simple random act of kindness. Imagine the impact this movement could create…incredible. God bless the children and families of Sandy Hook18. Parita K.After thinking about what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it, I decided to (anonymously) leave a $5 Starbucks gift card inside the main copy machine at work (along with the note of course).  I chose to do this because the people I work with are incredibly warm and caring.  And they welcomed me with open arms when I joined the company back in July, which meant a lot to me.  I’ve noticed that many of the people I work with are stuck indoors the entire day.  I thought it would be nice for whoever found the gift card to get outside and enjoy a beverage of their choice, all while enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery!

19. Lindsay M. - I decided to use my random act of kindness to pay for someone’s gas one morning on the way to work.  I was waiting in line inside the QT before work and was behind a mom with three young kids.  She was a little frustrated that they wouldn’t stand still while waiting their turn, but I could tell she was trying hard to be patient.  When I heard her ask to prepay for $20 worth of gas, I spoke up and told the cashier to put it on my bill.  I gave the woman a slip of paper with the info you sent us and told her that I wanted to do something nice for her and her children.  I could tell that the woman was grateful not only for the kindness of a stranger but also for children, even in their morning chaos.  :). Made my heart happy and reminded me to look for daily opportunities to surprise others with kindness.

20. Anna S. - Wanted to start off by thanking you for putting this together! Really made me think about things I do in my day to day life. With that said here is my random act: After a date night with my boyfriend we were headed home. At our last stoplight before we got onto the highway there was a homeless man standing and holding a sign asking for help. We had just stuffed ourselves with pizza and had the leftovers in the car. We couldn’t help but feel guilty that he was standing out in the cold and we were full and warm in our car. I suggested that we give him the leftover pizza. Next thing I know Ryan rolled down his window and gave the man the box. He could not have been more grateful and said to us “Every little bit helps!”

I have never done anything like this before but I have to say it made both of us feel pretty good that such a small act could put a smile on someone’s face.

21. Christie S. - I always go through the self checkouts at Jewel (grocery store) because they are 1. quick 2. fun. This time around, when the customer ahead of me was searching for their wallet, I took out my wallet and swiped for her. Although her total was nothing significant, she gladly gave me a hug as I passed her my act of kindness note. Such a little act brings such a warming feeling to my heart. I hope to continue and remind myself of such acts of kindness on a regular basis

22. Brittany R. - I don’t have a picture but for my random act of kindness I left a Starbucks gift card at my grad school’s library with the following note: “In honor of the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I’m part of a movement that’s performing 26 random acts of kindness. You are #23. Take a study break, grab a coffee on me and be grateful for this day.”

23. Allison P. - I live in New York City and decided to walk to my workout class to enjoy the beautiful weather. While I’m on my way, I see a Dunkin Donuts up ahead and a man at the top of the entrance ramp cursing under his breath. He was an elderly man in a power chair and couldn’t get into Dunkin because the store did not have an automatic door at the top of the entrance ramp and his power chair prevented him from leaning over and opening the door. He was stuck. I’m thankful that I was put in the right place at the right time and could be an instrument of kindness for this gentleman through an action so simple as opening the door.

24. Christie R. - I have a friend that is halfway into her first pregnancy and struggling to find clothes that she feels comfortable in and that she can afford (her husband was laid off last month).  As my random act of kindness I decided to send all of my pregnancy clothes to her. She hasn’t received them yet, but I am so excited for her to.  I’m hopeful that some of it will work out for her and make her feel more comfortable and confident.

25. Danielle L. – 1) I helped out a neighbour in my building who was trying to move in with his difficult to maneuver furniture. He was pleasantly surprised by my offer! 2) A fellow student I recently met in class had surgery this past week. I sent her a note to let her know I was thinking of her!

26. Larissa - For our act of kindess I wanted to get my two daughters involved as well. So my 4.5 year old (Taylor) and I created some Happy 2013 greeting cards with stickers, glue, paint, markers, crayons – the whole nine yards. My daughter was in charge of thinking up the wording inside and the cards included sayings like “Smile”, “Be Happy”, “Hugs from me”. We then packed them all up with the card informing them that we created these cards in honor of the 26 people lost at Sandy Hook. Taylor had a huge smile on her face and talked the whole way about how exciting this was.  We brought them to a local nursing home that is located very close to our home, unfortunately with the flu epidemic at the level it is we couldn’t actually see any of the patients. The woman at the front desk was so excited to hand out the cards, and really made sure my daughter felt very special. We brought along my 6 month old (Abby)  thinking her contribution could be the big smiles she hands out.  We then headed out with our hearts feeling so full and Taylor kept asking if she thought the “old people like her Nana” liked the cards.

The truth about our act of kindness is that it really brought us so much more than I ever imagined.  Taylor was so proud and excited to create and hand out the cards and it was a fun activity that brought us together. It also was a great opportunity for us to talk about how we can care for one another and be kind to one another. I hope that the cards brought a fraction of the amount of joy it brought to my family. Thank you Jen for putting this together, it was a ray of light in a cold dreary Chicago winter.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie February 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I agree with everything you’ve said here Jen. Even the smallest acts can inspire something beautiful in someone else’s life! I feel sad for anyone who chooses to be critical, and hope that maybe someone does something nice–however small– for them, too.

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2 Emily February 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Your blog always makes me stop, take a deep breath and smile. Thank you for being a positive daily reminder of what is most important.

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3 Cindy February 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I am sorry that you have gotten some not-so-great feedback. However, I hope you know that these acts of kindness are making a difference in this world. I believe that with all my heart. I also wonder what those with not nice things to say would say if they were on the receiving end of one of these acts? My hunch is their opinion would change. As Mr Roger’s says “in the midst of tragedy, look for the helpers”. Every single person who has completed a random (or even not random!) act of kindness is a helper. We all need helpers. Thank you Jen. I can’t read these without crying….good happy…overcome with gratitude at the kindness of so many….tears.

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4 Melissa February 16, 2013 at 8:25 am

I debated on responding directly to this blog post. I left a short comment on the website in question (GOMI) that contained the aforementioned criticism. My comment to the effect of “do we need to be reminded to open the door for people” was meant in sarcasm. I have had someone purchase me coffee in line one day while I was in my work clothing (dirty jeans, steel toes, etc) covered in dust and oil, and they said “you look like you need this” referring to a free coffee. Nice gesture, but as I’m standing there with cash in hand I was a little bewildered. I’m an introvert, quiet most of the time, and have a horrible case of “Catholic Guilt Syndrome” inflicted on me at a young, young age. It’s awkward for me to receive things like this that I feel I don’t need or deserve and I don’t know how to react. All I could think was “stick that in the tip jar!” I cover the cost at the table when dining with friends sometimes. I buy gifts for friends and family. I’ve given a chunk of my wardrobe to others in need when I lost weight. But I just kept it quiet. I’d feel sort of odd bringing light to the situation or saying that a certain friend or family member was down on their luck and needed assistance. It’s good to give back, it’s good to help others, I guess I’m on the fence about sharing all the things we do with everyone. Some of us have a lot of pride. We think we may be doing something nice for someone down on their luck, but they may see it differently. That’s all. But in no way is the sentiment of looking for ways to be a better person and help others a bad thing. Definitely did not want to come across as saying that.

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5 Diane M February 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Hi Jen,
Your words were so beautifully put and so glad you put that out there! What we have come together to do has been amazing! The stories and pictures warm my heart and make me so happy and proud! Thank you for taking this on and sharing these amazing stories with us!!!
xoxo

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6 Allie February 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm

I really can’t imagine saying anything but POSITIVE things about this project! Thank you again for putting it together- I’ve noticed myself making a more conscious effort to think about others after completing my ‘one’ act of kindness. You’ve inspired me with not just this project but with many of your posts!

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7 Katie February 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Love this post, love this project and how I wish I could take yoga from you!! Too bad I’m in Chicago!

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8 Mary-Catherine February 12, 2013 at 12:01 am

What an awesome awesome awesome awesome post!! Thanks for sharing these — and I know I’m so thankful and happy your chose to do this! Just think about how these “small” acts of kindness (which are probably pretty large for some people on the other side) are adding up, expanding, and reaching so many other people! What amazing power!!!

Hope the rest of your week is wonderful!
MC

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9 Julie February 12, 2013 at 2:37 am

While I think the overall idea is very nice and can be a positive experience, I can also understand the negative feedback that you’re receiving. It just rubs me the wrong way. Why can’t we just be kind to be kind? Why do we have to brag about it? To me, being kind is something that comes from within and you just do it because it’s part of who you are. A person shouldn’t be kind so they can later brag about it. It’s just not authentic. If I’m nice to a neighbor but don’t tell anyone, does that just mean I’m probably not a nice person or I don’t do anything kind for anyone else? I guess I just don’t understand the point. I’ll use you (Jen) as an example. Based on your writing, I would venture to guess that you’re an incredibly nice person. I assume you do nice things for people but I don’t need to know every single nice thing that you’ve done for the day. You’re a nice person and that comes through with everything you write.
I’m not saying this is a terrible idea because it’s not. It’s great to encourage kindness and I applaud that. What I don’t agree with is the bragging about it.
We don’t need a constant pat on the back, do we? What happened to being humble? Does being humble not count for anything anymore?

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10 tara February 12, 2013 at 9:24 am

Julie,

I’m not going to speak for anyone else just myself. I think the intent (at least how i took it) was to do nice things then post them in order to INSPIRE others to do the same. Its not about bragging. No one knows me here or knew the act i did when i did it. I personally LOVE hearing all the other acts because it inspires me to perform more myself. I would also describe myself as “nice” but i am one of those people who can go about my day and get caught up in myself a little to much and i’m not afraid to admit that. I was thankful for the acts because it caused me to look at myself and think about someone else. I loved that it was associated with Sandy Hook because while doing my act i was thinking of those children. I’m not a kid person but something about honoring those lives with my act touched me in a unique way. I’m thankful for the reminder that its not all about me and that we are all connected if we allow ourselves to be. I’m inspired by this blog to do other random acts and obviously i wont be running to tell others about it or bragging, but if i needed this little push isn’t that the point ? Maybe you are more present and able every day to think of others and i say good for you there should be more people like you…but for me….i needed the push and the sense of belonging that this brought me.

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11 Sarah February 12, 2013 at 8:17 am

Its great to read positive things people are doing each day to impact others. It seems odd to me that people want to criticize putting a little good in the world. It’s the smallest things, in my experience, that can help turn someone’s day around and continue the cycle of kindness. I don’t think the point is bragging, but to motivate and inspire each other. And sometimes it just helps to be held accountable, as even the best of intentions arent always followed through on. If these posts motivate just one person to spread a little sunshine in their day, I think it’s well worth it. :)

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12 Addy @ Six-Kick Switch February 12, 2013 at 9:56 am

I still love this project — it’s really a bummer that someone would criticize it. The entire point is really just as you said, Jen — not so much about the acts themselves, but about bringing an awareness to our everyday lives that, at any moment, we can give away unlimited amounts of kindness, no matter how small the gesture. I say great job to all your readers who got involved, and keep it up!

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13 erin February 12, 2013 at 11:12 am

Well, I choose to focus on the positive, and I certainly don’t see this project as bragging. I think anyone that signed up for this probably would have done their random act regardless of whether or not it was recognized on the blog. I see this as a great reminder to be mindful and present and put good energy out into the universe. Thanks again Jen!

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14 Jen February 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Just a suggestion for people still looking to get involved with acts of kindness– consider writing love letters (especially timely for Valentine’s Day!): http://www.moreloveletters.com/
It’s all about making honest, real connections with strangers by writing heartfelt letters. I think a lot of times we don’t really know how to give another person what they truly need. Sure, $5 or a gift card can be nice, but I think it’s important to push ourselves to reach out even more and try to find what every person needs, a real connection, to know that someone cares and that they’re not alone.

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15 Jen February 12, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Oh and I didn’t mean that as a criticism of people who did give strangers gift cards, it is a nice thing to do, but I wanted to offer a different perspective on trying to fulfill a need rather than just giving someone an extra thing.

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16 Julia February 12, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I participated in the 26 acts and just have to comment that tonight I found fifteen dollars lying just so on the seat of a cab. I can’t help but think it was left by another participant (it was perfectly folded and clear to see). Ive heard that any money you find during lent (in the couch, etc) belongs to god and should be donated to those in need, which I plan to do.

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