Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Random Acts for the New Year

I've heard two different stories recently about what one could call "random acts of kindness".

The first comes from a man named Patrick who described the act on his blog, Patrick's Place.  In short, he was the beneficiary of a nice (and generous) gesture and he chose to pass that on to someone else.  You'll have to click the link for the details, though.  (It's short.  Go over and read it.  I'll wait here.)

The second act was mentioned on Google+ yesterday.  A woman stated that she stopped to pay a toll on the way to her relatives on Christmas and was told that it had already been paid by the driver of the car in front of her - who also wished her a Merry Christmas!  This, understandably, made her day!

I've been thinking about these acts and I've decided that I'm going to do some extra acts of kindness in the new year.

Now, let me pause and say that I am not one of those people who makes New Years resolutions.  I just never did that sort of thing.  This is different, though, at least in my mind.  I'm not doing this for myself, though it might be beneficial to me, too.  I simply want to spread some smiles in the new year - even if they are from minor acts.

So, I'm going to attempt to do at least one act of kindness every day for the entire year of 2013 - though sometimes this might only involve holding a door open for someone or allowing someone to go ahead of me in line somewhere.

In addition, I'm going to try to do a more substantial act at least once a week.

We'll see how it goes.

I'm going to document my acts here on my blog. (Somehow... I've not worked out the mechanics yet.  Perhaps a weekly blog post where I can list what I accomplished the prior week will suffice.)  I think this will keep me from forgetting about my goal.

I'm also going to need some help in the way of suggestions. That's where you come in. I've been to the Random Acts of Kindness website and they have tons of ideas so I do have one resource but I'd like some suggestions from my readers, too!  After all, we're talking about 365 days! That's a lot and I'm not the most creative individual.  I'd especially like ideas that allow me to remain anonymous. I like to be sneaky that way.

Think of a small thing (or a not-so-small thing) that you did for someone that brightened their day - or something that someone did for you! You can leave your ideas in the comments or email me by clicking the contact button on the side of my page.

Thanks, in advance!


  1. Thanks for the mention, Cathryn! I love your idea of a daily act of kindness!

    I checked the website you mentioned, and I was really struck by some of the simplest things -- like holding a door open for someone, or letting someone go ahead of you in a line. I think that a lot of us are quick to get overwhelmed by thinking that doing something kind has to mean doing something elaborate.

    Things like returning shopping carts, leaving a larger tip at a restaurant, and even donating a dollar at checkouts to various charities (especially at PetSmart) are simple things I'm most likely to do.

    I'm also going through some old clothes, trying to clean out my closet, so I'll be making a few donations to Goodwill, too. :)

    1. Those are some excellent suggestions, Patrick!

      I have to go through my clothes, as well. Surely someone else can benefit from the fact that I've outgrown some of my clothing. When I do get back down to a smaller size, I'll want to buy some new clothing anyway.

      Act of kindness don't have to be big things, as you stated. The little things count too! :-)

    2. I got frustrated with the number of books sitting on shelves that I never bothered to open anymore, so over a period of a few months, I packed up about eight boxes of them and would donate them to Goodwill or local libraries as well. I hope someone out there is getting more use of them than I had of late.

    3. I had a similar idea, myself.

      I'm losing one of the built-in bookshelves in my house when we convert a bedroom to a bathroom so I have to go through my books and decide which to part with. Some books will be added to my list that I'm willing to swap on Paperback swap but several of them are way too popular and I know it would take a long time to get rid of them this way so I need to find another place to get rid of them.

      My local library suggested to me that I donate them for their used book sale they have in the spring so I'll be doing that. It makes me happy to know that they will be read by someone instead of just being discarded.