Random Acts of Kindness

Does kindness have to be planned or structured in any way?

I’ve read somewhere that some people will engage in 26 acts of kindness in honor of the students and teachers killed at Newtown, Connecticut. This got me thinking. How many acts of kindness do I do regularly? Are there other areas I could focus on to engage in acts of kindness? Would it involve sometimes getting out of my comfort zone? Involve sacrifice? Should it be inconvenient or something you could integrate into your everyday life?

I’ve included a list of 26 acts of kindness I’ve done over the last several years. Perhaps not as regularly as I should – this list acts as a reminder of how I can regularly have a positive impact in my community.

Bakery Goods brought by Whitefish Bay Swim Club -- Random Act of Kindness


1. Donate blood.

2. Letting someone go ahead of me in the grocery line with only a few items.

3. Often, when I leave a restaurant in Chicago with excess food, I will give my food to someone on the street who appears in need of a meal.

4. Thanking my bus or taxi driver.

5. Complimenting someone’s outfit or dress without prompting, or some lady’s hair.

6. Pat someone on the back literally or figuratively.

7. Personally deliver print jobs to others from a common network printer.

8. Thanking busboys for their commitment to doing a good job.

9. Hold the door for someone entering a building or someone in a wheelchair.

10. Purchase food or ice cream for some homeless outside of a fast food restaurants in Chicago’s loop.

11. Thanking the grocery store checker for a job well done.

12. When driving, don’t block the turn lane so other cars turning at the cross streets can proceed to enable traffic to move.

13. Saying hello to the building custodian and telling him the building looks good.

14. Coaching a youth sports team.

15. Writing a positive review for a retail associate.

16. Give away extra technology equipment to those in need.

17. Donate used books to my local library.

18. Use less plastic.

19. Bake brownies and cookies for new neighbors.

20. Sending a loving text to my daughter many miles away at college.

21. Donate $1 at the cash register for a good cause.

22. As I go about my day, pick up trash.

23. Encourage someone who needs a positive boost.

24. Give away your extra tools or clothing to someone in need.

25. Buying boxes of girl scout cookies at work and leaving them in a common area for your colleagues.

26. Be free with compliments.

One more thing. On Valentine’s Day, a student at Libertyville High School (LHS) taped a red paper heart to every locker (about 2,000 students) which read ‘you are loved.’ Most red hearts were still on the lockers a week after Valentine’s Day. This person remains anonymous.

One more, Part II. I attended a Master’s swim meet in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin yesterday where several swimmers brought cookie, brownies and other goodies for other swimmers from various clubs in the area. No one requested any money for the baked goods and no donation money was solicited in any way. Just a nice thing to do and I couldn’t resist mentioning it and including the picture.

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