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Random Acts of Kindness

  First of all, let me just say I really wished I could volunteer more. Or do something that felt like it was contributing to the greater good. Now I know one could argue, and frankly should argue, that dedicating my life to raising my children to be caring and productive members of society is definetely helping the greater good, but when you are up to your eyeballs in dirty diapers and temper tantrums it is hard to keep that in focus. It is a big blurry haze at best.

Lately, however, I have taking stock of the things I am doing and trying to remind myself how little it takes to make a big difference. Now this post is in no way a big old pat on my back (but maybe a little one), but just a reminder that in the midst of the mundane we can do little things to make the world a better place.

I do few little things to stay “green.” Now I am no Al Gore (although I just read he consumes up to 20 times more energy then the average person in his big old mansion and private jet), but I am gradually trying to do my part. I recycle everything and anything I can. I have officially made my house plastic bag free by only using my fabulous Envirosax bags. I drive a very old car that gets excellent gas mileage. And I am gradually trying to use up my cleaners so I can switch to good ole’ vinegar and baking soda.

My frugality has allowed me to share a lot of things with people who need it. I mean, how many toothpastes and shampoos can one person amass. So I have been boxing them up and sending them to the local homeless shelter. I just sent 3 POUNDS (!!) of expired coupons off to military families. It cost a little chunk of change, but I figure that it is more than offset by all my savings. And an extremely small price to pay for the price they are paying for me. I also have found a wonderful website, Wish Upon a Hero, that lets me help people out in all sorts of little ways that are of little time and effort to me.

So those are all wonderful, but you know what has really caught my attention lately. How blessed people are by simple kindness. Actually I find this a bit shocking. Today I held the door open for a woman who was carrying a large package and she was so thankful. And seemed a bit surprised to be helped. Which I am frankly not surprised by cause I am amazed at the times I have my hands full and am pushing a stroller and people stand and stare while I try and wrangle a door open. Yesterday, I offered someone some change when they were a bit short at Subway and the man was so thankful, he even came back later to tell me again as he was leaving.

While I totally appreciate the appreciation, I am left wondering if this isn’t a symptom of a bigger problem. When did we get so wrapped up in the business of our own lives that we stopped being helpful and kind? Why is that the exception and not the rule? We are so appalled when we see someone else being inconsiderate, but are we always the first to open the door or even just offer a smile and a genuine thank you to someone whose job it is to serve us? I am really trying to pay more attention to this and I am seeing it rub off on my kids. Yesterday, my Lily jumped up to get her Coco (grandma) a drink when she came over after a run. She said she thought it might be refreshing for her (seriously, how cute is that?).

So maybe changing the world isn’t as hard as I thought. Maybe it is just raising my children to be kind, loving, respectful, God honoring adults. My pastor is always saying: “Remember you are not raising children, you are raising future adults.” Hopefully future adults who will hold open a door for a poor young mother with a kid on each hip and a package in each arm.

Comments

  1. It makes me feel good to let someone in line directly behind me go ahead of me if they have fewer items to buy than I do. And they always seem so surprised.

    I’ve had a few emphatically decline much to my own surprise. It was like a gift they refused to accept.

    I hope I can teach my children about Deliberate Random Acts of Kindness.

    jubilees last blog post..Chico Bag Giveaway

  2. very true about todays society
    we were thrilled the other day when a young girl held the door open for us to get through with our girls.

    On a side note, we’ve never had problems with freezer burnt chicken, however the bag from Kroger was in one large clump :(
    we’ve stuck with other brands since then.

    Marys last blog post..The Best Way To End A Day

  3. As my oldest says, “Little hands can make a big difference!”

    Jackies last blog post..THE MOST Beautiful Bouquet, Ever!!

  4. It truly blessed my heart to have a cold glass of water when I was so hot and sweaty. A small act–a huge blessing.

  5. thanks for reminding me about this coupon thing. I know you had mentioned it before but it had slipped my mind… and this weekend is my coupon-sorting day… so I’ll definitely be sending some overseas!

    Erin Gs last blog post..On the Democracy of Ground Balls

  6. So often we forget in our busy lives how much a simple kindness can mean. Sometimes its a phone call to the Grandparents to let them know I love them, picking up the trash on the ground by my car (or having the kids do it so they learn stewardship), holding doors open, etc…

    At the Doctors office the other day, a elderly couple came in, he is in a wheelchair and she has a slow shuffling walk. Their transportation driver got them to the desk and left. I walked up and offered to push her husband over to the chairs so she didn’t have to struggle with the wheelchair. She was very thankful and said “it’s horrible getting old.” I smiled at her and replied, but it happens to us all! I think that is so important to remember. One day, we will all be the one in need of help and if we raise our children to be the people to offer help… the world will be a better place.

    Thanks for posting this! What a great post.

    Cheers!
    Jamie

    Polka Dot Mommys last blog post..Four Random Sentences

  7. Stephanie says:

    I will never forget the day I had my screaming baby in my shopping cart and $100 worth of groceries to be bagged and a lady I didn’t know bagged all my groceries for me so I could hold my baby doll. It was such an unexpected blessing……

  8. That is a wonderful reminder. I love the new look, too!

    Paiges last blog post..Hello? Is this thing on? Check one, two…Sibilance, Sibilance

  9. What a lovely, refreshing post! We should use the Pay It Forward method with your blog and perhaps more people will think this way?

    Melanies last blog post..Oh My My!!! It’s Ringo Starr!!!!

  10. Jen@BigBinder says:

    I really liked this post. This past spring, a fella asked me for some change. I gave him all I had – (what he did with it is between him and God; I was asked, and I gave.. that’s how I see those situations), and A.P. dug into his pockets and gave him 2 quarters he had for some reason. He was so thankful, and so kind, and I was super happy my son got to see how just a small amount to us can be a big amount to someone else.

  11. Hello from your long-lost commenter! I just had the chance to catch up and thought I’d agree with your analysis here. It is SO sad that we’ve gotten away from the “everyone is my neighbor” concept. I, too, have many experiences struggling with doors and such with stroller, bags, baby in my arms, etc. while others watch on. What really torqued me was when I was pg and there were 8 men or guys sitting in the waiting room of a restaurant and it was the 80-year-old cane-toting grandma that offered me a seat (which I politefully declined though my thighs were burning). Where has the chivalry gone??? Where has the common courtesy of helping our fellow man gone? Quite frankly, I love to see the surprised look on someone’s face when I go out of my way to help them. I want them to realize that we “young people” aren’t all just hoodlums! HA!

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