There are “Random Acts of Kindness” going on every day. The anonymous someone who pays off layaway items at WalMart, the person who walks past expired meters and renews them so folks don’t get tickets — that it’s illegal just blows our minds no matter how many explanations we see. Or that warmhearted human who smiles at you with such genuine care that it makes you forget that earlier someone else made you feel small. Simply being considerate, little ways of showing your heart to others takes only a moment. We like warm fuzzies but for all of those “random acts” out there, we have noticed they seem to be in short supply lately.
This holiday season, we would like to celebrate the ways people show a dash of love, a skosh of warm, a touch of heart to those around them by sharing five simply beautiful moments of unselfish kindness, care, consideration to inspire, bring a smile, and boost that supply of warm fuzzies so your cockles get all toasty in your heart… Btw, cockles stand for “ventricles” in that actual organ in your chest, so, ya know, it’s not just a bunch of made up cute talking hooey.
1. If you can read this, someone took the time to teach you
In a company somewhere in America, a co-worker spends his lunch hour teaching another co-worker how to read. They sit in the corner with their sandwiches, homemade meatloaf, sushi rolls, whatever the meal of their day is and Co-Worker 1 slowly, patiently and lovingly helps Co-Worker 2 transition from illiteracy to proficiency.
2. Grateful for being real
So many of us struggle in our lives. With finances, emotions, finding a good work+life balance, or just making it through the day without crumbling. An employee at a large company recognized this about herself and knew she needed to take time to focus on her mental health so she could keep going. She made her work team aware of what she was doing, risking the stigma that so often goes along with mental and emotional issues but knowing she needed to be real and open the door for others to acknowledge what they may need in their own lives. The response? A heartfelt note from the company’s CEO, thanking her for being “an example to us all and help cut through the stigma so we can all bring our whole selves to work.”
3. Across the aisle and into the heart
A new president, a divided country. And so it was that frosty morning in January after President-Elect Donald Trump was inaugurated in Washington, D.C. A group of excited Trump supporters stopped at a local eatery in the heart of D.C. to grab some lunch at a spot well-known for being a heavily left-leaning, social justice supporter. Wearing MAKE AMERICA GREAT hats and brimming with joy, the men thought about taking the hats off, feeling slightly out of place… until they found themselves being served by a young waitress who put aside her own political beliefs to give them a warm smile, a beautiful disposition and the best service imaginable. So touched were they that they left her a $450 tip on a $70+ bill with this note: "We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American."
4. Über Santa
Since the 2016 holidays, an Uber driver and a small group of committed people have been giving away $1000 to each person who rides in their car over the course of two days. It is funded by an anonymous benefactor, is in no way affiliated with the company Uber and has since expanded to include drivers — the Uber driver acts as a passenger on those occasions. No one gets paid for their involvement and all they ask is that each recipient pays it forward in whatever way they can — a smile, a kindness, whatever.
5. “Stop the war, I want to be of good cheer.”
World War I — called The Great War — was more brutal than any armed conflict in modern history at its time, ultimately taking the lives of close to 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel by war’s end. However, five months after the 1914 start of WWI Christmas came and Pope Benedict XV suggested a Yule Tide Armistice, which all of the commanders refused… but on Christmas Eve, British and German soldiers along the Western Front began singing Christmas carols across the battle lines to each other. By dawn on Christmas Day, unarmed German troops emerged from their trenches to say, “Merry Christmas” in English to their British foes. Seeing it was no trick, the English soldiers returned the favor, and the two enemies exchanged presents of cigarettes, plum puddings, sang songs, swapped stories and even engaged in an impromptu soccer match to celebrate the holiday as one. Not one shot was fired on the Western Front on that day and it is considered the last act of chivalry in war. It was never repeated again.
It comes in so many different forms, doesn’t it? And just that tiny bit of care can change lives, minds, hearts. And, so, from all of us to every single one of you, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, we want you to know there are people out here who care and acts of kindness going on every day, from the smallest of small to the biggest of big. We wish you joy and love, a good turn when you least expect it, a light at the end of your tunnel when you need it most, anything to make your world a little brighter. And as you take that shining moment with you into the new year, pass it on.