RAOK: a random act of kindness, when someone does something spontaneous and unnecessarily nice for someone else.
Small things can matter in big ways – especially when it comes to small sacrifices. That’s the idea behind movements like #raok, #choosekind or the #kindnessboomerang. It’s amazing to me how the littlest actions can brighten a whole day! I experienced this concept first-hand when I was on the receiving end of two such acts this week.
Worth the Wait
On my way to work, I stopped at a little coffee shop off the highway. The gentlemen in front of me was placing a clearly large order. There were several self-serve urns sitting out, so I asked the checkout employee if I should just fill my cup myself, thinking to speed up the process. She said I needed to be rung up first.
So I’m trying to exercise that much-needed fruit of the spirit, patience, while the first gentleman finishes his business. Then I hear him tell the employee, “oh, I’ll get hers too,” pointing to me. Say what? I had to ask him twice just to make sure (why can we not just accept compliments and kindness?!).
Readers, my coffee probably cost him two bucks. But I could not stop smiling. I filled up my cup, left before he did, and went to work with an extra pep in my step. That one small act made my whole day! And considering I work with students who struggle, they probably appreciated my good attitude as well!
I was called to serve my civic duty of juror in the downtown courthouse. I live in San Diego, and we’ve got a big downtown. There is virtually no parking near the courthouse, so the government paperwork suggested taking public transit.
Ok, I’ve traveled in subways and trolleys before, so I figured no problem. However, there was no stop on my line labeled “courthouse” or anything close! Nor could I figure out from the court or transit website WHICH stop to take.
I still board the train, figuring I’ll get off at the main downtown depot and go from there. As I’m standing in the middle of the trolley car, a middle-aged man offers me his seat. I didn’t really need to sit down (although props to him for chivalry!), but as we started talking, I discovered he works a few blocks away from the courthouse!
But rather than just give directions, he actually walked me off the train and out of his way to get me oriented and on the correct street. The man who I had just met practically dropped me off at the courthouse door! I was so thankful; I felt like he was an angel in shoes God placed right in my path!
I will probably never see either one of those gentlemen again. It’s unlikely that they will remember our encounters. But their small sacrifices and random acts of kindness significantly impacted my day, and in turn, I’m sure helped me to be more of a blessing to the students and other citizens I encountered!
Want some ideas?
I definitely recommend these sites for creative videos and ways YOU can show kindness in small ways to those around you.