Exercising random acts of kindness

Aisha McCullough

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Many people would describe their lifestyle as busy with not enough hours in the day to do all the things they would like to do.

Technology is ever-changing and the human lifestyle is keeping up with the pace of the changes.

Jenny Ho, 33, undeclared major, stopped unexpectedly early Wednesday morning, March 4, on the main campus in front of the gym.

Ho stopped to help a fellow student clean up a coffee spill by offering her personal box of tissue from her backpack, committing a random act of kindness.

“You see young people on the bus and you see elderly people with bags, and young people not helping those old people with those bags,” Ho said.

Care, concern and respect seem to be some of the unconscious themes in the desire to carry out random acts of kindness.

A random act of kindness can be described as a spontaneous or planned activity to either assist or cheer up an individual person, or people.

Random acts are generally encouraged by various communities and cultural groups, and are best practiced or performed as a selfless act.

Previously, many communities maintained more labor-intensive careers. Typical household duties and chores also required laborious, manual activities.

With lifestyles structured around labor, it was often necessary to have additional help from family, friends and even strangers coming together in order to accomplish larger tasks.

Anyone can begin practicing random acts of kindness at any time of day. There are many free acts a person can provide, and then there are activities that have a cost associated.

Here are five ideas or examples of those actions:

  •  Leave a big tip. Surprise your waitperson with a bit extra. It could be just the right incentive for your waitperson to provide better service next time.
  •  No one should eat alone. Meal-time is a great time to share space with someone. Ask a stranger to share your table and you just might make a new friend.
  •  Write a note or uplifting letter. It is heart warming to receive a special note written from a special someone. It can be a post it note, an email or a voicemail; just the thought sends a sense of appreciation.
  •  Hold the door open for a stranger. Chivalry for men and women is not dead, but it does require quick thinking to take advantage of this simple gesture. Be the person who goes out of his or her way to be polite and hold the door.
  • Smile or say hello to strangers. A smile can make the world a better place even if just for a few moments. Saying hello to random strangers can uplift the spirits of those greeted as well as the greeter.

Take some time and try it out. You might find that the real benefactor of practicing random acts of kindness is the person practicing the activity.