Random Acts of Kindness
The importance of random acts of kindness came up during one of my 6th grade classes. We had talked about etiquette and manners and why we should think about other people when making decisions. We had also covered the need to be appreciative of gifts and kind gestures.
The discussion evolved into opportunities to take care of one another and how great it feels when you do. Taking care of each other is a form of etiquette because it requires us to put others before ourselves. Instead of thinking about what’s in it for me, you consider what someone else might want or need. For homework, my students were required to either perform a random act of kindness or to tell of a time when they observed one.
Here are some examples of what came out of the exercise. I think they are worth sharing.
- Someone pays for the person behind them when going through the drive-in window at a fast food restaurant and drives away before the individual can thank him or her.
- Someone gives or donates money anonymously.
- Someone takes his neighbor's garbage cans in when his neighbor isn’t home.
- Someone shovels driveways other than his own when it snows.
- Someone uses her Christmas money to pay for someone else’s Christmas presents.
- Someone holds doors for strangers regularly.
- Someone puts money in timed-out meters.
- Someone leaves the quarter in the shopping cart at Aldi's grocery store in the hope that others will do the same.
- Someone bought his bus driver a present and left it for the driver to find on the bus.
- Someone helped her mom with unexpected chores daily.
What a great world we would have if everyone occasionally seized an opportunity to perform a random act of kindness. There are occasions to be kind daily if we look for them. At a time when life seems to be going so fast, wouldn’t it be nice if we learned from these children and continued their homework assignment?
Hello my name is Colleen Harding. I am the founder for the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.