“Random acts of kindness.”
The idea is that when we perform random acts of good, we bring happiness to the recipient. And, who could deny the good feeling we get when we help someone, offer an encouraging word, or pay a genuine compliment?
Loosely defined, a random act of kindness is a selfless act to assist or cheer up an individual for no reason other than to make him or her smile or be happier. Behind this, in part, is the hope that the surprised individual will practice a random act, too–“paying it forward” as the book and movie tell us.
The theory is good.
But I’d like to propose that while practicing random acts of kindness is good, planning them for those we know is even better. After all, we know our circle of friends and their needs. What greater gift could we give than an act of kindness meant just for them?
Doing good is one of the ways we find our own happiness and satisfaction. Such actions are one of the noblest ways to grow increasingly happy.
Some people may believe that random kindness allows a certain anonymity and that they can be more secretive with their good deeds. Some may believe that if they get “credit” for an act, it’s less impactful. Some believe that you can never be truly altruistic because performing the act brings personal pleasure.
But, does any of that really matter?
All those arguments are about us. Isn’t it really about them and helping them be successful? And, helping others be successful can take many forms. Kindness is one of them.
Doing good for others does not deplete our stock of it and leave us half full. Rather, it fills us up with even more. Funny how that works.
So, perform acts of kindness randomly, if you like. It’s good. But planned can be even better.
Question: Who do you know, right now, who could benefit from one planned act of kindness on your part? How about just an encouraging word? A thank you? Maybe just a call. Go ahead. Pick up the phone.