The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Commit Acts of Kindness Today ... and Always

The parents and relations of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre have come up with a fine suggestion for marking the one year anniversary of that horrendous event. Be kind to someone today. That's beautiful.

Might I suggest we dedicate this day to committing multiple acts of kindness today everywhere we go and among everyone we meet. I have a few suggestions:

  1. Smile frequently at people you are passing or who are serving you. You have no idea what they are struggling with and how much that simple gesture might mean.
  2. Hold the door for a stranger or two out in public.
  3. Hold that door for any loved one accompanying you as well, of course! 
  4. Make it easy for someone to merge onto the highway in front of you today. Flash your lights and invite them in. With luck, they'll do the same for someone else and traffic will move smoothly.
  5. Grab up a pair or three of those inexpensive chemical hand warmers. Stuff them (not activated) into your coat pockets and hand them out to those in need you see today. Your mail carrier would appreciate the gesture for sure. 
  6. Give everyone's faith tradition a pass today. No snarky remarks about one faith or another ... or the lack thereof. Those belief systems are, at times, all that gets a person through particularly difficult days (like the anniversary of the death of a loved one cruelly snatched away too soon). The communities of like-minded folks uplift them in their pain and sorrow when times are rough. Respect that today.
  7. Wave at people passing you in cars or whom you are passing in cars. It's nice.
  8. If the snow falls and you're fit, extend your shoveling to that elderly neighbor's walk and drive. Give them a hand. If you have a snow blower, even better. They won't soon forget that kindness. 
  9. When at a public entertainment, don't talk during the performance. This isn't your home. Those around you have paid for the privilege of hearing accomplished artists (or the children they love if it's a school performance) do what they have long practiced. Respect that and be quiet. You'll get more from the performance too. 
  10. Treat yourself and others with respect in all you say and do. It's contagious. 
  11. Write no flaming, all caps comments to posts, social media articles, or email responses today. Be kind. 
  12. Give your restaurant server a hefty tip. He or she needs it. 
  13. When you find yourself out shopping today, be kind to the staff of the stores serving you. They'll appreciate the gesture, sometimes more than you'll ever know. 
  14. Pray for someone who vexes you. It will help you and them both ... you'll be surprised how much it helps you.
  15. If you're out shopping for the holidays, grab up an extra toy or two if it is in your budget and hand it over to Toys for Tots so some child whose family isn't doing so well will have a better Christmas. 
  16. Put away your electronic devices today and engage civilly with those you meet wherever you go. Give them some positive attention. Who knows where that will lead? Let's find out.
  17. Send a card to someone you know who is ill. Give them a call. See if you can drop by, especially if they are in the hospital ... where those suffering and recovering have way too much time on their hands. 
  18. Visit a friend today. 
  19. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't give yourself a pass and say, "They know how I feel." Go ahead, tell them! 
  20. Do any or all of these things today ... and then make them habits for every day. Who knows where that might lead us all. It certainly couldn't hurt. 
Wishing you a blessed day on this solemn anniversary. I hope you spread some kindness and some comes your way in return. 

For the power of a single act of kindness, see:

If you want to be kind to me today, leave me a comment at the end of the day about some act of kindness you committed today. I'd appreciate it.

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