Random Acts of Kindness

The firework I’m sending today, the Hebrew version, is about a very local issue and, therefore, I found it difficult to create a similar English version. Instead, I’m sharing with you something else that I’ve read and that I liked:

There is a bumper sticker that has been out for some time now. You see it on cars all across the nation (in fact, I have one on my own car). It says “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty.” I have no idea who thought of this idea, but I’ve never seen a more important message on a car in front of me. Practicing random kindness is an effective way to get in touch with the joy of giving without expecting anything in return. It’s best practiced without letting anyone know what you are doing.
There are five toll bridges in the San Francisco Bay Area. A while back, some people began paying the tolls of the cars immediately behind them. The drivers would drive to the toll window, and pull out their dollar bill, only to be informed: “your toll has been paid by the car ahead of you.” This is an example of a spontaneous, random gift, something given without expectation of or demand for anything in return. You can imagine the impact of that tiny gift had on the driver of the car! Perhaps it encouraged him to be a nicer person that day. Often a single act of kindness sets a series of kind acts in motion.
There is no prescription for how to practice random kindness. It comes from the heart. Your gift might be to pick up litter in your neighbourhood, make anonymous contribution to a charity, send some cash in an unmarked envelope to make someone experiencing financial stress breathe a little easier, save an animal by bringing it to the an animal rescue agency, or get a volunteer position feeding hungry people at a church or shelter. You may want to do all of these things, and more. The point is, giving is fun and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
Perhaps the greatest reason to practice random kindness is that it brings great contentment into your life. Each act of kindness rewards you with positive feelings and reminds you of the important aspects of life – service, kindness, and love.

 (From “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and its all small stuff” by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. Copyright ’97)


 I remember that one of my peers once received a new company car. From the car dealership he received a nice watch with the logo of the car manufacturer. When he passed through the gate of his office’s parking lot he stopped at the gate, took out the watch, handed it over to the gatekeeper, told him that he just received it but he wants to give it to him as a small gesture of appreciation for being there every time that he comes and leaves. The guy was so moved that he could hardly talk. I assume he will never forget it. I didn’t. I’ve heard it from him, from the keeper.

Fireworks (59)
Shuka, Thursday, July 15, 2010

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