The world needs more random acts of kindness

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Feb. 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day, a day to do something nice for others, just because.

The day of kindness observance was started in New Zealand in 2005, but has spread worldwide. Of course random acts of kindness day shouldn’t be limited to one day, but it’s good to get these kind of holidays in the schedule to remember how important it is. This past week, the second full week of February (Feb. 11-17, 2018), was Random Acts of Kindness Week.

If everybody aspired to do at least one act of kindness each day, imagine what a different world it would be. I think it’s one of the most important attributes a person can have and whenever my kids show an act of kindness, it warms my heart more than a A+ on a test. During my youngest son’s soccer game, I was proud of the way he listened to his coach and ran around the field trying to kick the ball, but what made me most proud was when he went up to a teammate who fell and asked him if he was OK and offered to help him stand up.

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The need for kindness in our world

In a world filled with snarky, and sometimes downright mean, comments on social media and bullying, and downright evil acts, moments of kindness are so important. I recently read an article about a young pregnant mom at the airport who was traveling alone with her toddler. The toddler had a huge meltdown and the mom was so overwhelmed she sat down and started crying. She was then surrounded by a group of six or seven women – women who didn’t know her or each other – and tried to soothe the little boy.  Once the mother and son were both calm and able to get on the plane, everyone went their separate ways. Beautiful.

It’s so wonderful to hear these type of stories (the website sunnyskyz.com is filled with positive stories such as this).  Especially when there’s such bad news in the world. The news of the Florida school shooting is heartbreaking and I can’t stop thinking of those family members whose loved ones were murdered that day. The horrible realization that the day started as just a regular day, getting ready for school with no idea that it would be their last morning with their loved ones.

Good for the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are now speaking up about gun control, although it’s sad that they’re speaking from personal experience about this. Why was a 19-year-old civilian with a history of violence and mental illness allowed to purchase a military-style weapon? It was the type of gun used in the December 2012 shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert on Oct. 1, 2017 that killed 58 people and the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in 2012 that killed 12 people.

Have we as a nation not learned anything? What can we do about this? A group called Moms Demand Action, which was formed in response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms.

A nonprofit of kindness

In Denver, Colorado, there is a nonprofit called The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) that is dedicated to inspiring everyone to practice and spread kindness in their own lives. Isn’t that sweet?

The organization offers resources for schools and communities to bring more kindness into the world. The website, randomactsofkindness.org, offers an educators’ guide, K-12 lesson plans,  kindness projects, games,  and ideas for activities. Here’s a little video about the science of kindness from RAK:

 

This idea of taking only one person doing one thing to change the world for the better was the subject of a song I wrote a couple of years ago that I thought I’d share here. It’s called “Only One.”

Only one

The tree was planted long ago
He who planted it didn’t know
Who it would shelter from the sun
He just did what needed to be done

He wasn’t seeking glory or fame
Nobody even knows his name
But the world is a better place
Because he was here

It takes only one
One kind gesture, one kind word
It takes only one
Only one to change the world

His name’s not on any building
He was never honored for his deed
He never expected recognition
He looked around and found a need

It takes only one
One kind gesture, one kind word
It takes only one
Only one to change the world

The tree was planted long ago
It took many years to grow
Now it’s time to plant our own
Because we are here

It takes only one
One kind gesture, one kind word
It takes only one
Only one to change the world
Only we can change the world.

© 2016 Leisah Woldoff

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