Sunday, April 21, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness Thoughts

Yesterday I suggested that we honor the wounded of Boston as well as peace loving people around the world by doing random acts of kindness this week.  Kindness for a week doesn't change anything, right?  Well maybe if we do start thinking of those acts of kindness, really put some serious thought into them and do those acts often enough they can become habit.

Kindness can start at home, doing kind things for your family is a good place to start the ball rolling.  Kindness doesn't have to end with other people either.  When you do your marketing this week pick up a bag of seed and thank the pretty little birds that give us their songs.  While your at it you could call your local animal shelter and see what kind of things they desperately need.  Showing up with some cat litter, chew bones or even cleaning supplies will make you a hero.

A smile doesn't cost anything but I promise if you smile at people they will smile back.  It is amazing how you can cheer someone up with that simple gesture.  I often do my training through very poor areas of town.  When I pass someone standing on the side of the road, waiting for a bus or just walking along the sidewalk, they get a warm smile.  I will always get a smile back and often a surprised look as well.  It's like I'm the only one who has even acknowledged they existed for a long time.  Elderly people especially seem to appreciate that smile.  We get really good at ignoring the poor and the elderly among us.  Maybe it's time we learned to really see the world around us.

There are so many causes asking for our monetary contributions and many are I'm sure worthy causes.  But I think giving of yourself is equally important and often an even better way.  Volunteering to help out with a race to earn funds for a cause is a better memory than just writing out a check or doing a paypal.  Helping costs nothing and you have the knowledge that it might not have happened if you hadn't given of your time.

Another kindness is also an excellent way to help yourself.  We all have friends and family members we haven't talked to for way to long.  Most of us also have held a grudge about something for way to long.  All of us need to learn to forgive people for trivial things that happened in the past.  Isn't it time to bury those old demons and get on with your life.  A short note to an old friend that you haven't talked to for a long time, to let them know you were thinking about them, can really make their day and just maybe your day as well.

Next time you head out for some long slow distance training, give it some thought and see what you can come up with.  I bet you will think of things that not only help others but make you feel better about yourself.

Thanks for reading.


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