While reflecting on happy times of days passed, I remembered a time when I received great pleasure from performing Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs) on a regular basis . I guess I should define what I refer to as a RAK. This would be a selfless act performed for no other reason than to make the recipient’s life happier and/or easier.
This is not to say that I don’t currently do anything nice for anyone. I live every day trying to be kind and to help others. What I miss is the anonymous, random acts for strangers.
There was a time when life wasn’t so hectic and the thought of doing this came to me more often. These days I get so caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle that, I hate to say it, I don’t think of random RAKs as often as I used to in the past.
I loved pulling up to the fast food drive-thru window and asking the attendant “How much is the order for the car behind me?” and then paying for their order along with mine. I enjoyed wondering what they were thinking when they pulled up to the window and were told that their bill had been paid. I liked to think that it made their day. Maybe they returned to work with a little more pep in their step and with the thought of paying it forward.
One of my favorite variations on the fast food RAK was performed by my husband on more than one occasion. If he was standing in line near a person in uniform, he would buy them lunch or a coffee and thank them for their service. How fabulous is that? I am married to a wonderful man.
Not all RAKs have to be monetary. Some of the best RAKs are free. How many times have you passed someone in the grocery store parking lot who is obviously headed back from their car with an empty cart. Why not return it for them? How about the neighbor who lives alone? Stop by with a cup of coffee and stay for a visit.
Have you ever been in line behind a mom whose little one is starting to lose it while the mom desperately tries to empty the cart and check out as quickly as possible? Instead of standing there staring at the child like it has 3 heads, try distracting her with a game of peek-a-boo. I have been the recipient of this RAK on more than one occasion and it has been a life saver.
When all else fails and you have nothing left to give, the best RAK is a smile and a few words of kindness. You would be surprised how people’s faces light up if you look them in the eye, smile and say “Hi. How are you?” as you walk by. You may also be surprised with how good it makes you feel. I challenge you to go out and perform a RAK today. I plan to.