Little acts of kindness happen everyday, but do we even recognize the fact that they have happened to us, or that we have done the act to somebody else? Someone holding the door open for someone else, picking up someone's pencil, or even just listening to someone vent about a problem they have been having; are all acts of kindness that can happen to anyone on any given day. We don't always recognize those small acts, but as the fabled Aesop said, " No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted."
When the act of kindness is bigger you can't help but notice, and then, pay it forward. Instead of repaying the kindness to the original giver, we can make the world a nicer place by repaying kindnesses with new good deeds to new people. And hopefully, they also will pay it forward. This concept was very well illustrated in a commercial by Liberty Mutual insurance company.
Earlier this year I was on the receiving end of an act that generally doesn't happen every day. The customer who came in right before me at Starbucks bought a gift card for the customer behind him to use. I wasn't in the store when he bought it, and he was no longer there when I came in. I was in shock that someone would do anything like that. That act of kindness made me want to go out and do the very same thing.
A few days later I went in and did just that. When I was waiting for my drink a group of teenage girls came in. They went up to place their order and when they went to pay, the cashier explained to them what I had done, the same way the cashier explained to me what the man did. To my surprise they were just as appreciative as I was. One of the girls said that they now plan to do that very same thing. The girl who got to use the gift card came up to me and said thank you and how nice it was that I would do that.
Being on the giving end of an act like that is a lot different than being on the receiving end. When you are on the receiving end of something like that you feel like there are still people in the world who want to brighten someone's day, who want to make people realize the world is still good at heart. When you are on the giving end you feel like you made someone's day.
We do random acts of kindness everyday without ever thinking about it. Doing these smalls act everyday doesn't hurt you; it only makes you feel good knowing that you did something good to help someone else. As Mark Twain said, "Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
My New Year's resolution is try and do one act of kindness every day. I challenge everyone to join me. You won't believe how good it will make you feel.