52 Acts in 2013

First of all let me wish everyone a Happy New Year! Party animal that I’m NOT, I watched others around the world celebrate before I dozed off and missed the new year arrive here. I’m not big on resolutions either, so I have no list to share today, but my wife and I have decided to do something a little different this year. We are going to commit to perform at least 52 Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) in 2013.

We were inspired by Ann Curry’s #26Acts of Kindness movement “which invites everyone to carry out acts of kindness for anyone, anywhere” in honor of the students and faculty who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December. Several years ago I decided to do a random act of kindness every week, and it proved to be a memorable experience. Most of my acts were seemingly quite small, such as helping someone carry groceries or perhaps opening the door for a stranger and offering some kind words. And sometimes I brought flowers from the garden in to someone at work. It was often the little things, in other words.

What I found out back then was that it wasn’t the monetary or material worth of whatever I did or gave that mattered. What really mattered was the sincerity, and manner of the act, as well as the unexpected nature of it. I tried to put a lot of heart and soul into these little acts, and I truly believe it showed. I never told anyone what I was doing, or had done, until I discussed it awhile back with Lynda.

I supposed some folks might think “well, I do this all the time! What’s so special about 52 acts?” And that’s a good point. For me, having this goal will help me focus less on myself, and more on others. There are so many different RAKs that can be done. The Random Acts of Kindness Organization and 366 Random Acts of Kindness have many good ideas. Random acts of kindness don’t have to involve money or gifts. Sometimes a few kind words can be worth a lot to someone. Or perhaps it can involve asking someone how they are doing – and then waiting for the answer, and engaging them in a heartfelt conversation.

My wife has some more ideas in her post today “2013: 52 Random Acts Of Kindness.” And we would love to have people join us. I don’t plan on talking much more about it here, and there won’t be any rules, reminders, or weekly posts, unless something memorable happens that I find worth sharing.

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy, prosperous and kind New Year!

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9 Responses to 52 Acts in 2013

  1. Robin says:

    What a wonderful idea Dave! I always try to do RAKs. But, I think making a commitment to do 52 is a great idea!

    Happy New Year!

  2. Daphne says:

    I went to a party but left at 8:30pm. And interestingly enough I did a random act of kindness there. Lori is the executive director and founder of People Making a Difference. She brought legos to the party (which she has done at many other parties) and we put them together. They are part of molecule sets. We assemble them for the students. Basically the kits unassembled were were pretty cheap to buy, but assembled they cost a fortune.

  3. I was the recipient of such an act the other day. I was bagging my groceries at one of those (hated) bag your own stores, when the young lady, who was bagging her groceries across from me, smiled and began talking about the weather, her husband and young children, and just generally being so very nice and pleasant. It was such a welcome change from those I usually encounter, who are rushed and rude and make me feel like a doddering, slow old lady, who just can’t bag those groceries quickly enough! I felt happier all the rest of the day, just because someone took the time to smile.

    • Dave says:

      That is a great story! And it illustrates why it helps me to have a goal like this, so I can be more like that young lady and less like one who gripes about slow old ladies! 😉

  4. John says:

    Inspiring and well-said. This is how we learn to make kindness a habit.

  5. Bee Girl says:

    Happy New Year! I love your intention to continue with your kind acts! Thanks for sharing your plan and thanks for reminding us all how important our relationships with each other are…it really isn’t about money, it’s about interaction and caring 🙂 Cheers!

  6. Imagine what could be accomplished if we each made the same commitment? I think it’s a great plan, and besides, as the saying goes ‘smile, and the world smiles with you’, and sometimes, especially these days, even a simple smile can be considered an act of kindness. Happy New Year!

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