Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Random Acts of Intentional Kindness

Today's subject? Random acts of intentional kindness! You and I hear all this talk of random acts of kindness, but what does it really mean? According to the internet, random is an adjective, meaning: made, done, happening or choose without method or conscious decision. Synonyms are haphazard, accidental and chance. Which brings us to the randomness of what we, and others like us, perform regarding kindness. Everyday there are ample opportunities to perform acts of kindnesses. You happen upon a mother juggling toddlers and groceries and offer to lend a hand. Random act. The person in front of you in the grocery line is short a few dollars, you offer to cover them. Help a person who is having car trouble, buy a co-worker a coffee, pick up the lunch tab or even gather trash you see on your daily walk. All random, all unplanned, all acts of kindnesses. All this talk gets us to thinking about the non randomness of these and other acts. Is it really random to head out on any given day and if you see a way to help someone you do it? These kindnesses do not seem so randomly given, but they are randomly received. No one with the toddlers expects the help, but they certainly appreciate it! Lunch on a co-worker or friend, hey we will take that any day! And on the grander scale of our lives and the planet we share with others should we be doing acts of kindness randomly? What of the stone that we skip across the lake, causing ripples of happiness? What if instead of random acts, we performed intentional acts? Before dismissing this as not as feel good as random, lets see what intentional means. It is an adjective meaning done on purpose, deliberate. Synonyms are deliberate, willful, purposeful, intended. That pretty much blows random acts out of the water, because, as we performers of goodness in the lives of those around us, we ARE intentional. We are intentional about our showing others both kindness and the art of being kind. Our SPPRAK Pack is not a random program, it is intentional, designed to show others how to be kind. However, on those banners in an increasing amount of schools are many many random and intentional acts of kindnesses. How about that? Now we are intentional about the acts of kindnesses, with randomness thrown in! And does it really matter about which sort of kindness you are performing? That would be a resounding NO. Because everyday you should have a kindness goal, smile at five people, get some flavored coffee for the office to share, hug a fireman/woman. You know, be nice! Does it really matter how we interact with people? We SPPRAKers think indeed it does. We are looking forward to the day when, instead of being shocked and surprised by acts of kindness, people will be shocked and saddened when people are unkind and hurtful to one another.