All it takes is one person to start a movement. And NBC News correspondent Ann Curry proved that statement to be true. After the devastation that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary school in December, Curry posed a simple statement on Twitter that caused a viral movement.
“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitzvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I’m in. If you are RT #20acts.”
Since then, people have been tweeting and sharing their random acts of kindness using both the hashtag #20acts and #26acts in memory of those lost. In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 10-16), take the opportunity to either start performing random acts of kindness or to further develop the routines you already have in place.
If you’ve been apprehensive about participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week or #26Acts because you can’t contribute monetarily, have no fear. There are plenty of ways to perform kind acts without breaking the bank. Start with something as simple as smiling at strangers. Although it takes little effort on your part, a simple smile could completely turn around somebody’s day. Take it a step further and strike up a conversation with a stranger.
Also, keep an eye out for situations where you could offer help. It could be as easy as letting a busy person go ahead of you in a long line or offering yard work assistance to a neighbor that needs help. Or, instead of throwing out used items, donate books or clothing to a person or place that needs them. Giving such a small part of your day and efforts will put a smile on your face as well as somebody else’s.
Pay it Forward
If you’ve got a little extra cash burning a hole in your pocket, why not give it to somebody in need? Next time you’re at a restaurant, tip the unsuspecting waiter or waitress more than the recommended amount. Or, go through the drive thru and pay for the people in line behind you. From paying somebody’s parking meter to financing someone’s rent check for the month, your contributions could be the change for an unsuspecting recipient.
Keep It Going
Once you’ve completed random acts of kindness, keep the ball rolling. Simply let the person know that you’re participating and encourage them to perform their own acts of kindness. Now that you’ve started something, continue year-round with a goal. Whether you want to perform one daily or set a number for each month, you’ll feel great knowing that a small act can change a person’s perspective. Whatever the contribution, random acts of kindness are sure to turn around somebody’s day. Even the smallest act can make a huge impact.