February 8, 2017
Just Because: 21 Acts of Random Kindness
“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” — Scott Adams
Every year around this time, heart-shaped candies and bouquets of red roses adorn the aisle ways of grocery stores and phrases like “Be Mine” are displayed in shop windows everywhere we look.
And every year around this time, we begin our search for the perfect gift to present to a loved one as a sign of affection because it’s Valentine’s Day. That’s what February 14th is all about, right?
If we take the time to dig a little deeper, I believe the true meaning of Valentine’s Day is much more significant than flowers and cards. The true meaning of Valentine’s Day is about expressing love and gratitude while showing kindness to others.
Yet, we must remember spreading kindness should not be confined to one day a year. Love and kindness are acts worthy of being practiced daily and for no other reason than “just because.” Paying for a stranger’s coffee, holding the door for someone behind you … these simple gestures can make all the difference.
Kindness advocate, Houston Kraft said, “Kindness is not usually our default setting. We spend so much time worrying about our problems, our lives, our comfort, our insecurities, getting to our flight – that we walk by or ignore people in need of kindness every day.”
At Bella Grace, we encourage you to deviate from the norm. Find it in your heart to go out of your way to make someone’s day a little bit better, to lift their spirits a little bit higher. Bella Grace readers share 21 beautiful, random acts of kindness they experienced and the impacts each one had on them.
- “I was out to eat with my husband and our three young kids. When it came time to pay the bill, the server told us it had been taken care of by another couple. They had already gone, but had left us a note reminding us to enjoy our little ones. Sometimes in the fast-paced world we live in, we forget to slow down and just enjoy the moment we are in. I think of this night often and remember to slow down and live in the moment.” — Bailey Nelson
2. “After a long day at work, my mind was mush. I was heading upstairs to my apartment when a guy held the door open for me and insisted I go in front of him with a big smile on his face. That one act of gentlemanly kindness and friendliness made my day. You can often take holding doors open, or a ‘you go first’ gesture for granted. But to me, it makes me feels like a proper lady in a Jane Austen novel around this type of gentleman. It still brings a smile to my face!” — Sharon Carson
3. “Our school is participating in kindness week. This morning I made a new batch of a coconut lime body scrub and I brought a jar to our principal. I don’t think too many people randomly give her gifts. She was so happy and hugged me for thinking of her. It filled my heart with joy to make another human being happy.” — Kelly Kardos
4. “We don’t have a lot of homeless where I live (which is great), but there is this one spot off the highway where sometimes someone will sit. The other weekend I saw someone sitting there as we were on our way to Wal-Mart to pick up something random. Instead, my boys and I gathered things we thought he may need. We then went down the highway in the opposite direction and turned around so that we could come down the ramp and hand off the package. He said thank you and immediately started looking through the bag. I could hardly stop crying, I felt so overwhelmed. That night, when their dad came home, it was the first thing the boys told him about our day.” — Joy Huber
5. “I have a sweet friend that makes an effort every week to contact me in some way or another. Sometimes a call or a text, other times a visit. No matter the method, she is always positive and upbeat. There have been many times that her contact has been the thing I needed to get through the day or week. She doesn’t know, but somehow I think she does know, somewhere deep in her soul. It’s amazing to have people like that in your life.” — Shelley Rounds
6. “A few weeks ago, a woman I don’t know well comforted me while I was crying in a church washroom. She gave me her phone number and said I could text her anytime if I wanted to talk. She shared some of her own bad experiences with me and we both felt less alone afterwards.” — Rebecca Riley
7. “I was ordering coffee from a coffee kiosk and had already taken my first yummy sip. I handed my card over to the cashier to pay but she looked at me and said, ‘Sorry our card machine is offline.’ There were no ATM’s anywhere so I grabbed my wallet, but I hardly had any cash in it. Suddenly, a young teenager walked up behind me and said, ‘How much do you need?’ I told him, ‘No, it’s fine. I can’t take your money!’ He smiled, politely said it again, and then paid for my coffee and walked away. I just stood watching him walk off. I realized that day that I wanted to pay him back for the kindness he had showed me, but I needed to learn how to receive it without thinking I needed to pay kindness back. It was a deep lesson because many times I have felt guilty receiving kindness. I’m ever so grateful for that young guy!” — Lauren Jacobs
8. “I live in the Northwoods. An office girl friend walked into the office on the coldest day of the year and gave every girl a bottle of Pear and Brown Sugar Lotion … took the chill out of an incredibly dreary day.” — @lines_letters
9. “My husband and I both had the flu earlier this month. His mother had passed away that same week. We needed to get well to drive 750 miles for her service. A day or two before we were to leave, it started snowing … 8 inches, which is a lot for Charlotte, NC. The next morning, we woke up to our neighbors shoveling our driveway. Another neighbor brought over her homemade chicken and dumplings and a dozen eggs from her farm. Later that day, homemade soup and a basket of oranges were delivered by two other neighbors. It was unexpected, and we were overwhelmed with this outpouring of kindness.” — Debara Splendorio
10. “Someone saw me out to dinner with just me and my 3-year-old twins. My husband and I work opposite schedules so sometimes I feel like a single mom, and it’s not what I signed up for. That day, you wouldn’t have known it on the outside, but tears were flowing on the inside. I felt so lonely, like all the hard work I put in with my kids went unnoticed and almost taken advantage of. We got finished eating and the waitress said someone paid for our food. The note on the receipt said ‘You are an incredible mother.’ And had a $25 gift card for the next time we came. It wasn’t about the money. That day I needed to be seen and affirmed, and her kindness renewed my sense of purpose and faith in humanity.” — Rashaun James
11. “I assisted a veteran with his debit card micro chip at Starbucks. He was so grateful for the assistance. In return, the cashier gave me a free drink. It was so unexpected.” — Amy Uhe Leone
12. “My friend, Bonnie, surprised me with her homemade biscotti and a generous supply of tea bags. That gesture lifted my spirits, made my day, and made me realize the importance of true friendship.” — Peggy Noon Clark
13. “I came to work to find out my sweet friend had spent her weekend staying up until 3am crocheting me a baby burp cloth for my future baby. I will always treasure it. It made me feel so loved and, most importantly, she taught me to have faith and hope in my future.” —Savanna Rosenow
14. “A good friend knows I’m on a tight budget, so she sent me a case of Starbucks Veranda K-cups for my morning coffee.” — Brenda Nuland
15. “At Christmas, I was at my local USPS to send out two packages to family members. I didn’t realize how much the postage would cost and it was more than I could afford. I was embarrassed and sad that I would only be able to send one. The kind gentleman behind me overheard and paid the difference without hesitation. That single act lifted my spirits that day. It is moments like this that inspire me to do good for other people.” — Laura Lee Wise
16. “The last time someone showed me a random act of kindness was just minutes ago. They left an encouraging comment on my Instagram post. It warmed my heart and put a boost in my step. Words are powerful.” — @intentionalrust
17. “There was a homeless man in front of a local drug store asking people if anyone knew where he could go find food. Most completely ignored him. I watched him walk to the side of the store and sit down against the wall. I went in and bought two bags of food and bottled water and gave them to him as I left. He thanked me with tears in his eyes. He was tearing into some granola bars as I drove off. It was my turn for tears. I pray he made it somewhere safe.” — DeAnna Clark Wisman
18. “My father passed away recently. He had been living with me since my mother passed away many years ago. I called a friend to ask her to contact a catering company and plan the menu [for his service] since this was just something I did not want to do. She didn’t do what I asked, she did something even better! She organized my friends and they all pitched in to make food for 75 people. It was wonderful to have friends support me in my time of need, showing me and my family their love for my dad. Their kind and generous hearts eased a burden and warmed my soul.” — @photocate8
19. “Something as seemingly mundane as holding a door open for me. In a world of business and self-absorption, this simple act conveys the comforting thought, “I see you. You matter.” — Andrea O’Loughlin
20. “It was a few years ago, I was standing in the middle of my street in my PJ’s and underwear staring at what was once my home. I was aware of the news media and many people around me. My mind was in complete disarray. Out of the blue, a woman I had never met before, who I suppose just happened to be in the middle of a morning jog, reached out and grabbed my hand. She placed $35 in it and continued on her way. At that very moment, I was having a traumatic experience that only escalated as the day progressed, but it was her random act of kindness that made me appreciate what it is to be human. Today, I seek to relive that kindness whenever I can.” — Alicia Greenman
21. “I was at the end of a day when my soul was tired. I work with children at my church, and I was cleaning up from the evening art activity when I found a note, face down. It said, “To Miss Kathy.” When I turned it over, this sweet child had painted a rainbow and written, “God loves you, Miss Kathy.” The words and the painting were so dear, but what touches me even more was that she left it for me to find. She didn’t hand it to me to gain something for herself. She did this as a pure gesture of love, and I felt that deeply. As I turned out the light and left for home, my heart was light and my being felt refreshed.” — Kathy Guisewite
When was the last time you showed kindness to someone “just because?” Share with us in the comments.
Comments ( 3 )
April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm
I have been sharing copies of my favorite books by leaving them in little library’s found throughout town I stick a small paper heart somewhere in the book along with a random act card encouraging them to pass it on. I love the way sharing books that have touched my life makes me feel! I also love a good adventure and finding these library’s offers just that!
April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm
We lived in Louisiana during the major economic recession in the late 70’s. My father’s engineering firm was struggling. With so many customers unable to pay their bill, he chose to bankrupt the business rather then force them to pay. During the same time he needed complicated and dangerous back surgery that could only be performed miles away by a specialist in Texas. My parents warned us that Santa Claus would not be coming this year. When we returned on Christmas Eve to settle Dad in for his recovery, we found presents overflowing beneath our Christmas tree and a fully cooked Christmas dinner waiting in the kitchen. Our neighbors had used our spare key to let themselves into our home. I’ll never forget the sight of our mother, so weary from her ordeal, with tears of gratitude streaming down her face.
April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm
As I finish with a few issues of your beautiful magazine Bella Grace I find others who may not be able to afford it and I bundle them up and pass them forward. I have also done that with all my other Stampington publications. I always felt that having them just sit on my bookcase was only collecting dust, maybe some else would enjoy them.