In my Jazzercise class there a a few octogenarians and one nonagenarian ( a lady in her nineties). She’s very hunchbacked and works out near the rear of the class. She requires a chair to help herself with some of the moves. She’s slow but sure and I can tell you she inspires the heck out of me. Anyway today the class was just about to start when the instructor on stage seemed to notice something in the back of the class by the entrance. She jumped off the stage went to the back to open up a folding chair. It was just as our honored exerciser was entering. I thought it was very sweet that the instructor wanted to set up the chair herself. She could have easily asked someone in the back to do it. But she was showing kindness and respect for our special Jazzerciser.
My daughter lives in Peru. We speak often via messenger. So today as we were sharing our day, she told me she was standing outside her front door. She was waiting for her boyfriend to return with the key to let her in. When I asked where he was she told me he had gone to search for the owner of a car that parks next to them. The driver had left the windows down. The woman lives in the other tower of the condominium. He went to go let her know.
I didn’t realize that I had been noting Random Acts of Kindness for 4 years now! Today facebook shared a memory from 2012. It deserves remembering.
“RAK Day 12 (2012): The guy who painted the outside of our house really took to our bunny. For the last 2 months, since he finished the house, he and his wife would bring bags of bunny goodies and leave them on our doorstep. When we didn’t see our bunny I sent an e-mail to the neighbors asking if anyone had seen her. Today I saw the painter, who lives down the street, driving up and down the block. I when out to say hi to him and he said he was trying to see if he could find our bunny. How sweet.”
I did nothing today, I hardly got out of my pajamas. I was worried I’d have a hard time noticing a RAK. Low and behold, without asking her to, my downstairs neighbor put my wet laundry into the dryer and then brought it up to me. 🙂
I was out and about shopping yesterday and that always makes it easy to see Random Acts of Kindness. Some of them were having doors held for me, being wished Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, and seeing people let others go first. This is one of the reasons I really like Christmas shopping. Keep paying attention folks. Don’t miss humanity’s way of caring for itself.
“Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to live in the present moment.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Living in the present is a skill to be learned. Let me help you learn it.
As I’m pondering Random Acts of Kindness I’m beginning to think outside the box. Today I was wearing one of my favorite sweat shirts. It says, “Born and Raised in San Francisco”. A man came up to me in a coffee shop and asked me if I was born in the city. I had forgotten my sweat shirt and was surprised that he could tell. Then he chuckled and explained that he was being playful. I thought it was sweet that he took the time to interact and joke. So I’m calling it a RAK.
The volunteers that get to my meditation center at 7:30 am to open the door and ring the bell so that those who want, can sit with community. Volunteerism is an act of kindness that is everywhere.
So looking for RAKs is a mindfulness practice. And the reason why it’s important is because our mind has a negativity bias. It’s always scanning for threats. And it’ll even find them when there not there. It’ll see a stick in the forest as a snake. This is to protect us from danger ahead of time. But it ignores the non-threats, like everything else. So we have to consciously note the positive to balance out the negativity bias, otherwise all we see is what’s scary and bad. Anyhoo… There were 2 RAKs today that I actually did rather than noticed. Is that cheating you may ask. I say no. The point is to notice kindness anywhere, from others or yourself. So here they are. At Trader Joe’s today I helped a man in a wheel chair reach something off of a shelf. And I let a lady with a baby in a stroller and a toddler go ahead of me in line because they had walked there and she was afraid it would start raining. So there we have it. To paraphrase a beer commercial, “Stay aware my friends.”
Not sure this is random, but it was an act of kindness. Today I found my self in dire need of support and a shoulder to cry on. I texted a friend asking if she could spare a moment. She called me right back and was very wise and kind. It doesn’t get any better than knowing you’re not alone.