Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.
the Dalai Lama
While many will be concentrating on where to buy the most spectacular flowers or delectable chocolates for their sweetie for Valentine’s Day my mind is preoccupied with a something I consider to be much more fun - Friday, February 17, 2023 is National Random Acts of Kindness Day or EVEN BETTER - Random Acts of Kindness Week is actually February 14 through February 20, 2023. Yeah, it may not have as catchy a name, but I believe its sentiment is quite beautiful. The philosophy of paying it forward is something that has always tugged at my heart. There are a million ways we can make gestures to those around us, but I believe we rarely recognize our potential to change a life with one simple act. And beyond changing one life, imagine the possibility of creating a ripple effect - perhaps changing a family, a neighborhood, a community, and in the end - the world! The allure of seeing immediate and grand results of our actions can prevent us from doing small things, making small gestures. Without seeing the results, it is easy to believe we are not making an impact at all. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth! When I was 16 years old and in Drivers Ed, I had a teacher who said that when you wave another car on with a smile on your face it can make all of the difference in the world to the other driver. He cited a study that had been done (I so wish I remembered the study) that said, if you smiled and waved a driver on, he was five times more likely to smile and wave on another driver if he had the opportunity. It was something that always stuck with me. From then on, I thought to myself that given the opportunity, I would always choose to be kind and patient (first on the road, but then in life) recognizing that this could potentially change so much in just one moment. Such a huge life lesson for Driver’s Ed! There are times when it may look as though the world is suffering from a lack of kindness between us humans. Enacting love and kindness toward one another each and every day could turn things around tremendously and create a greatness in our communities and world as we are all intrinsically connected. Too often this gets forgotten.
Compassion is a verb. -thich nhat hanh
Compassion is the vehicle to connecting with others and helping us create and strengthen relationships with one another.
Okay…so here’s to connection and random acts of kindness!!
Here are some random acts of kindness that you might like to try this week:
1. Bring in some sweet treats for your coworkers.
2. Send a care package to a friend that might not be expecting it with some goodies that you know that they could use.
3. Donate to a local charity.
4. Feed the parking meter for a stranger.
5. Write a note to someone that shows you are grateful to have them in your life.
6. Make sure to tell your loved ones, family and friends alike, that you love them.
7. Give compliments to strangers.
8. Visit and spend some time with an elderly neighbor.
9. Send flowers to someone anonymously.
10. If you know someone who is caring for a parent, ask them if there’s something that you could do to support them.
In the meantime, I made a batch of sweet treats today and hope you might treat yourself this week. Maybe you’ll give the recipe a try! Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy National Random Acts of Kindness Day and Week!
Click here for the recipe.