Let’s consider, for a moment, someone special in your life. Is it a spouse, co-worker, friend, family member or child? It’s the employee that always says ‘yes’ to special projects. It’s the daughter that always draws the picture for your fridge. It’s the spouse that picks up your favorite bottle of wine to relax you after a long day. As you think about this person that you deeply care about, consider how many times a day you are considerate of/to them.
I want you to think of everything. Do you make the coffee every morning even though you don’t drink it? Did you spare their feelings when they asked you if you love their new hairstyle? Did you pick up their favorite snack when you ran out for lunch? I bet, as you consider this person, you can attribute a large part of your day or month to your Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) towards them. I would also guess, as you started considering what you do for them, you started discounting it with the RAKs they do for you.
What if you stopped?
Really, What. If. You. Stopped.?
Chances are, that special person would slowly start to feel like a kicked puppy. They would keep up their end of the deal for a while. Depending on their personality, it could be a really long time before they end their RAKs. Isn’t that wonderful? This person cares for you so much they don’t expect anything in return for their kindness. Do you feel like you’ve won the friend lottery?
How would you feel if this situation were reversed?
What if they stopped?
After a while you would stop feeling loved. In would come feelings of loneliness, depression, doubt and so much more. You would begin to question the circumstances that led this person to suddenly ‘hate’ you. Your delivery of RAKs to others would lessen and contribute to an endless cycle of social exile. Isn’t it unbelievable how much these tiny RAKs affect your mood and life overall?
How many times have you taken these RAKs for granted? How many years have special people been considerate to you while you’ve taken those small things for granted?
We were riding in the car the other day with the dog. I was holding him gently with one arm while I moved something with the other in order to make him more comfortable. I must have been holding him wrong because he snapped quickly, and so did I. I yelled at him since I’m always so considerate of him. I bring him toys, give him treats, let him sleep on the bed, etc., and this is how he repays me?!? I told him I was simply going to stop doing all those things for him. I’m not crazy, he’s a dog and will not understand, but it really got me thinking. (It was a long car ride)
My husband and I came up with RAKs after our meeting with the minister that officiated our wedding. He’d been married a long time and told us how he always worked to do small, nice things regularly. Grand gestures are amazing, but the random acts of kindness were the glue in his marriage. Every now and then, after fifteen years, you’ll still hear us refer to RAKs and it brings back a sweet memory about that very important talk with our minister.
Lately, I’ve been the recipient of a ton of ‘thank yous’ for things I didn’t even think twice about doing, or not doing. It opened my eyes to show me how many I haven’t said. All day, every day, I am the recipient of a thousand RAKs from the people who care about me the most. I know, beyond any doubt, my life is fuller because of you. It’s not just fuller, it’s what makes me tick. My notorious Pollyanna mood is the result of those RAKs. My ability to love my people (my agents) the same at 9am as I do at 8pm, is a result of RAKs. Now, I’m absolutely not perfect, but I am a way better version of myself because I’m surrounded by people that love me and constantly show me.
Dear kindness givers, THANK YOU for enhancing my life. You are more than appreciated…..and necessary.