Forget the hearts and cards of Valentine’s Day, my favorite day of the year has become Random Acts of Kindness Day. February 17 is a day to show kindness to others—without really thinking about it. That means don’t just buy Starbucks for the car behind you and forget about it (but if you see me in your rear view, please feel free!). Instead, explore other, more obscure, opportunities for your acts of kindness throughout the day.
Imagine a place where it’s common to find—and share—those random opportunities around every corner. Beautiful, isn’t it? Perhaps that’s what author Ann Herbert had in mind in 1982 when she coined the phrase, “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” At CampusLogic, kindness is part of our fabric. Nice is a value. And one of our defining hashtags, #oneofakindness, means being kind to others in each teammate’s own, unique way.
Kindness Is Action
What can you do throughout the day to go out of your way for others? The saying, “love is a verb, not a noun,” resonates with kindness as well. Kindness is about action.
So, throw that stuff around like confetti! Not every act has to be planned—that’s the joy of making it random. Little things will go a long way to trigger a pay-it-forward response in others, multiplying one action into many more. Like a ripple in the water, drifting out in concentric circles, this day should feel like raindrops filling up the ocean.
Receiving Random Acts of Kindness Benefits Everyone
For many of us, the hardest thing about a day dedicated to being unexpectedly kind, is knowing how to receive it—without feeling awkward. Some people are embarrassed. Others feel unworthy. But kindness truly benefits both the giver and receiver, according to Marshall Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication:
“The receiver enjoys the gift without worrying about the consequences…The giver benefits from the enhanced self-esteem that results when we see our efforts contributing to someone’s wellbeing.”
In other words, try to think about receiving kindness as part of the natural ebb and flow of the universe. We don’t necessarily demonstrate kindness in order to receive it, but we should be as good at accepting kindness as we are at dishing it out.
Bottom line: Be gracious. Receive that random act of kindness—even if a smile and a nod is all you can muster—and make everyone feel good.
Need Some Inspiration for Your Random Acts?
It’s true that the point of Random Acts of Kindness Day is that efforts should not be premeditated. For those of you who are more strategic, organized planners than random doers, here are a few simple ideas to help you get started:
- Express gratitude to others on social media
- Write a kind note to someone who needs a pick-me-up—and stick it in a planter, desk drawer, or under a windshield wiper
- Reach out to a dear, old friend with whom you’ve lost contact
- Hold that door for others just a little bit longer
- Wear a t-shirt with a funny graphic or pithy statement and enjoy a completely passive way to make other people smile
Although this day comes once a year, consider integrating a little random kindness into your daily life. What if the seventeenth of every month was about expressing your own #oneofakindness? The beauty of simple kindness can change everything—and everyone.