This post was entirely not planned out but I am so excited about an email I received this morning that I felt inspired to share. The email was an acceptance letter into the the #RAKtivist program led by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation! I had honestly forgotten about having applied to join the group, which I did while I was planning for my 29th birthday project, so it was a surprise when they emailed me asking me why I wanted to be a #RAKtivist.
At first I wanted to shoot back a quick, generic reason that would have been just enough to get me accepted, but then I thought better of it and decided to be really honest about it. Despite part of my confession being embarrassing, I responded with the following:
When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time with my grandmother who was the most genuinely selfless, generous person whom I have ever had the privilege of knowing. She was also a huge fan of the show Touched By An Angel, and I would often watch it with her. (<—there is my main moment of humiliation, with more to follow)
In moments of quiet time I would fantasize about dressing up in a flowy white dress and a pair of angel wings and secretly going around doing nice things for people. I’d imagine the impact I could have on people by offering tiny anonymous miracles and giggle at the possibility of those niceties becoming contagious while person after person were inspired to participate in kindness.
As I’ve grown into an adult I’ve realized that I don’t have to dress up to help others and that often times, people need those tiny miracles more than I could ever imagine. I believe that in doing random acts of kindness I can make a difference in others lives, and that no matter how small or insignificant the act might seem to me, it could be exactly what the receiver has been wishing or praying for.
It could mean restoring faith in humanity for someone, or even perhaps remind them of their own humanity and connection to others.
It could inspire someone else and create a domino effect of more kind acts than I could ever do on my own. It could help keep someone from giving up.
Most importantly, random acts of kindness contribute to the type of world I’d like to live in and pass on to future generations.
But in addition to all of that, I realize that I don’t need to be part of a group to do nice things, and I especially don’t need any acknowledgment for said good deeds to still get that gushy sweet feeling that I fantasized about when I was a youngin’.
I am kind because I recognize the spark of humaness that connects all of us, and that is the part of humanity that I want to interact with most.
That won’t change no matter how old I get, or how many times I celebrate my birthday by celebrating kindness. I also don’t have to wait till my birthday to sneak around doing good things, but after years of considering that as an option, now that I’ve finally done it, I want to keep on doing it every year.
On to the festivities!
I’m currently going through my bi-yearly, declutter-and-or-donate/give-everything-away-phase so instead of asking for more stuff for my 29th birthday, I decided I wanted to have experiences.
I wanted to do something that I would remember, and I wanted to do something that other people would remember too.
So I spent the day driving around with my husband and tiniest teeny meanie, doing pre-planned, random acts of kindness. The “random” comes from whoever was on the receiving end, because to them it was totally unexpected. I had a goal of doing 29, but when I added each thing up, I actually surpassed that number by a decent amount.
Now, I don’t want to make this an ooh, look at me type of thing so I’m not going to list everything I did, but I did make a little collage of the few pictures I managed to snap while we were out. I got several of my ideas on the interwebz, which you can find on my Random Acts of Kindness board on Pinterest, in case you’d like to snag an idea…or 30.
This was definitely the most satisfying birthday I’ve ever had. Thanks a bunch to my hubs for being my chauffeur, and for my momma who financed some of the expense.
Would you ever celebrate your birthday this way? Please share why or why not in the comments below.