Random Acts Of Kindness—Are You Up For The Challenge?

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acts of random kindness

Every year close to my birthday I try and reflect on the year gone by.

Last year, I read an article about a boy that committed 22 Acts of Kindness for his twenty-second birthday. It moved me so much that I decided to commit 44 Acts of Kindness for my forty-fourth birthday. It was a remarkable experience. I wrote about it, blogged about it, and posted on the Facebook page Project Pass It On.  

People were curious, but some were nasty about it, saying that by writing about it I was showing a deep streak of narcissism. The press got wind of it and wanted to catch me in the act of doing something for someone. They were disappointed to hear me say no thanks to the interview. I wondered if press coverage would turn a selfless act into a selfish act. It wasn’t about that kind of coverage.

My daughter jumped on board with me and gave out flowers to people on Main Street, in Collingwood. She giggled as she found that the winter grumpiness melted away from people’s faces as she handed them a flower with the simple statement to “have a wonderful day.”

I posted on twitter for Project Pass It On and started to get some following and responses. We instigated the “Birthday Challenge” to followers and friends to commit as many Acts of Kindness as years they were turning by their next birthday. Before we knew it, we counted over a thousand Acts of Kindness. What an amazing ripple. Very cool!

Friends in the States did days of gratitude for every day in November for Thanksgiving. I am not American, but I jumped on board to do such a great exercise. It became such a heartwarming ritual to stop each day and think about what I was grateful for. To this day, my family still does it. It seems like an anchor in a storm some days.

I love Facebook. It keeps me in touch with friends that I don’t live nearby, especially my girlfriends from boarding school in the States. These girlfriends live all around the world and despite their distance have shown me a sisterhood that will never deteriorate. 

Today on Facebook, I came across a status that melted my heart. Sandra of "Ayden’s Ride” posted the following:

The first 5 people who comment on this status with "I'm in," will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year - anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home-grown or home-made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise! There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy.These five people must make the same offer in their FB status and distribute their own joy. Simply copy this text onto your profile, (don't share) so we can spread kindness! Let's do more nice and loving things for each other in 2014, without any reason other than to make each other smile and to show that we think of each other. Here's to a more enjoyable, more friendly year!

Immediately, I posted: “I am in!” in response.

I then copied and posted her status to mine.

What an amazing adventure this will be.

I wonder who will post to mine, and how far this will go.

Such a simple thing, but sometimes the best heartfelt things are the most simple.

It only takes a second to do something nice, but the act of that might totally alter someone’s day.

As the posting says, “Here is to a more enjoyable, more friendly year!”

Have a wonderful day everyone, and “Pass It On!” 

Feeling inspired? Check out How An Act Of Kindness Can Change A Person's Life and The Health Benefits of Generosity and Kindness.

Carolyn Robinson is the author of the children's book series "The Adventures of Moxie and Chicken".  A book series that engages kids with a fun story line about her Portuguese Water Dog Moxie who is a registered child friendly and reading certified therapy dog with St John Ambulance. All stories are packed with fun as well as a hidden dose of vegetables to help teach manners and a healthy moral compass.  

She has founded "Winter Wears" which donates winter clothing to inner city schools as well as starting "Project Pass It On" which is a comunity that passes on Acts of Kindness as well as "The Birthday Challenge" which challenges individuals to commit as many acts of kindness as years they are turning on their next birthday.