perform a Random Act of Kindness every day, for an entire year. Can you do it?

Archive for January, 2013

RAK #31 – courteous driving

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RAK #31 – WHEW!  It’s the 31st, and that means one month down!  And I survived!

My last RAK for January was letting a driver cut in front of me during morning rush hour; two cars in front of me didn’t let her in, and she ended up being a Mom that was taking her daughter to school, so I hope my small effort started her day in a positive way!

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January 31st, 2013 at 10:11 am

RAK #30 – bought a coffee at Starbucks

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RAK #30 – while meeting with a friend, I bought him coffee tonight at Starbucks. Not random, but my week has been crazy so I’m counting it!

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January 30th, 2013 at 9:17 pm

RAK #29 – candy and note at the drive thru

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RAK #29 – I stopped for a quick snack at the local Sonic and wanted to buy lunch for the person behind me, but nobody showed up, so I ended up giving a note and candy to the employee working the drive-thru lane. She was grateful!

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January 29th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

RAK #28 – candy and notes for the bank tellers

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RAK #28 – while at the bank making a deposit, I sent candy and notes to the tellers working. Hope they enjoyed!

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January 28th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

RAK #27 – candy and notes for the Walgreen’s Pharmacy

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RAK #27 – at the drive-thru at the Walgreen pharmacy picking up meds, I gave the pharmacists working some candy with notes.

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January 27th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

The RAKproject – the First Four Weeks

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So here I sit, nearly four weeks into this crazy idea. And so far…not too bad.

Admittedly, some of the Acts of Kindness have been more convenient (putting gas in the wife’s car) or lazy (buying lunches for strangers in the drive thru) than truly altruistic efforts.  And in that, I have realized there is one prevailing aspect of the RAKproject.

It’s hard.

Not “hard” as in complicated, but “hard” as in difficult.  At times, even a burden.  As my friend Peter noted in his fantastic entry, doing a RAK every day can certainly take a toll, and he found some excellent solutions to help alleviate some of that pressure.  But at times, I also have seen this as a chore to check off the list, and have found myself even skipping a day or two of RAKs.

But that’s ok.

The point of the RAKproject for me personally is to make it an effort.  Force me to get out of my comfort zone.  Give me something to work at. But mostly, to keep me accountable for my own feelings and actions toward others.  In doing this RAK project, I have a personal responsibility to go above-and-beyond daily to think about the people around me.  Thoughts of kindness and forgiveness for strangers may be easy in a simple moment, but I have discovered it to be so very hard other times.  When I am stressed, tired, irritable, not feeling well…these are the times that I have allowed the little things to get under my skin.  The car that cuts me off, the rude actions from a coworker, judging others based on ignorant observations.  But – I have noticed these times becoming more infrequent.  In participating in this RAKproject, I have been able to counter some of that negativity by doing something nice for someone else.  And it really helps to recognize the bigger picture, and realize all I can do is make my own world a positive place. Big things often do start small.

Over the past few weeks, I have also realized the need for improved planning.  I have already made the basic RAKnotes that I keep in my jacket, my car, my work bag, with my ipad, so I can hand them out when the opportunity arises to perform an Act of Kindness.  But I need to take the proper time for some of the great ideas HERE and HERE that take just a small amount of effort. That’s one of my goals for the next month.

You may ask, “why the notes?  Isn’t that a little self-serving?” and your right, at least partially. The notes do list this website, but the goal isn’t just for website traffic. My hopes are that someone may visit the site after receiving a note, see the purpose and ideas here, and create Acts of Kindness of their own and pay it forward to others, thereby spreading the love everywhere. Despite my usual self-promoting narcissism you are accustomed to, the ultimate goal for the RAKproject is not to get attention, accolades, or other self-serving and superficial satisfaction – the goal is to get each and every one of you to participate, to think about others, and see how we can make a positive impact on our world. Together.

Who is with me?

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January 27th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

RAK #26 – picked up trash at Starbucks

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RAK #26 – while at Starbucks, I spotted some trash left behind by a group.  I gathered it up and threw it away, and of course, washed my hands.  A simple gesture, but I just wanted to help to do my part.

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January 26th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

RAK #25 – opened and held doors for someone

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RAK #25 – this afternoon, I noticed a lady with her arms full of boxes trying to enter my office building.  I opened and held the door for her, and also held open the other three doors she needed to pass through to get to her destination.  She was grateful, and I asked her to pass along the kindness to someone else this week.

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January 25th, 2013 at 7:32 pm

RAK #24 – gave notes and candy to store employees

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RAK #24 – at a store today, I handed out notes and candy to various employees working there. They seemed to all appreciate it, and I hope they pay it forward with another Act of Kindness this weekend for someone else.

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January 25th, 2013 at 4:24 pm

RAK #23 – gave a stranger my spot in line

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RAK #23 – during lunch at a restaurant, I noticed the person behind in line me seemed to be in a hurry, so I offered him my spot. He gratefully accepted, and I hope it had a positive impact on his day, and maybe he will pay it forward…

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January 24th, 2013 at 2:10 pm