Whenever I travel, I take a book along with me. This year, I chose the book/journal Write It on Your Heart: Random Acts of Kindness Journal.
I was drawn in by the beautiful artwork throughout the book but kept reading because it made me feel so good. As a Unity employee, I was intrigued by the thought that these ideas for kind actions were submitted by my coworkers.
The book, as the title suggests, is about acts of kindness, and includes space for readers to journal about their own experiences in performing kind acts. I was inspired to try a few. Here’s what happened when I “wrote it on my heart.”
Kind Act: “Look for Opportunities to Open Doors for People.”
I started with this act because it was easy for me—I have a habit of holding doors open anyway. The old etiquette of men holding the door open for women seems kind of irrelevant in our world of increasing gender equality, but there are still some men (including my husband) who cling to the tradition. I decided I would focus on holding the door open for men. A trip to an outdoor shopping mall was a perfect testing ground.
I visited many stores and found many opportunities to hold doors. I was met with mixed reactions from men, though they were generally positive. The most common reaction was a genuine “thank-you” and a smile. A few men seemed surprised, and one politely refused—he insisted on holding the door for me.
I will definitely continue my habit of holding doors for men and women. It’s an easy, simple act of kindness that makes people smile.
Kind Act: “Be Nice to a Frustrated Cashier (or Seek out the Manager to Compliment a Worker).”
While I always try to be nice to people as I shop, I have never taken the step of seeking out a manager to compliment an employee.
During the same shopping trip, I found the perfect opportunity. I mentioned to the cashier at a home store that an item was out of stock. She went out of her way to find one in the stockroom.
I sought out her manager and let her know how much I appreciated the excellent service I received. While I wasn’t around to witness the cashier’s reaction, I imagine it was positive, so this is an action I also intend to repeat.
Kind Act: “If Your Neighborhood has a Community Mailbox, Shovel the Snow Around It.”
My neighborhood has several community mailboxes, each serving about 25 homes. After a heavy snow, I decided to try this idea on the mailbox near my house. As I was getting bundled up to go outside, I heard a motor running.
Just then my husband came to tell me that a neighbor was using his snowblower to clear our driveway. What a lovely surprise! I couldn’t help but think the universe was rewarding my random act of kindness—and I smiled the entire time I was shoveling around the mailbox.
Kind Act: “Collect All the Toiletries From Your Hotel Room and Donate Them to Homeless Shelters.”
Since I didn’t have any hotel stays coming up, I tried this one with a little twist. I have a passion for beauty products—many of which come with free samples. In fact, I have a drawer in my bathroom dedicated to samples.
I cleared out the drawer and donated the samples to a local women’s shelter. Again, I have no idea how the recipients reacted to the samples, but it felt good to release them to people who could use them.
The Result of My Kindness Journey?
There are many, many ideas in the book, and I intend to work my way through more of them. Next on my list is an awesome idea to put change in vending machines so the next person to visit the machine gets a “freebie.” I thought this was a creative and fun idea, and I can’t wait to try it out.
Overall, this experience was rewarding for me. I felt good about doing my part to add loving energy to the universe. In one instance (the snow shoveling) I felt as if the universe jumped in to give me positive reinforcement!
If you haven’t tried your own anonymous act of kindness, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. In my experience, it feels good, can be lots of fun, and, of course, these acts are the small steps you can take to make our world a better place.
For your own copy of Write It on Your Heart, visit shop.unityonline.org/products/B0137.
For more information about the Random Acts of Kindness movement, including even more ideas, visit randomactsofkindness.org.