I’ve always found celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week to be slightly ironic. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to take the week to reinforce good values and kindness in our lives. My problem is with the “random” in random acts of kindness. I’m not trying to get into the philosophy of how to be a good person, but doesn’t intent matter? Being kind is a conscious decision. And, acts of kindness can mean so much more when they are deliberate.
There are the many clichés that say something similar to “it’s the thought that counts” or “it came from the heart.” And I agree with them. Kindness doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. That is something I appreciate about RAK week: we are reminded of the little actions that can cause a big impact. The action itself doesn’t need to be extraordinary for it to have an extraordinary influence. I think that is where intent can make a difference. Sometimes, you can just feel the effort. I remember personalized messages, thoughtful compliments, and meaningful actions so much more.
I’ve heard the “random” described as being done anonymously, or with no alternative motive. I think I believe in spontaneous kindness, but it is hard for me to find how being kind for the sake of RAK week is truly random. Kindness shouldn’t need to be commodified for people to partake in it. But if Random Acts of Kindness Week is what inspires someone to make a difference, I can’t complain. Any act of kindness is welcome.
It can be easy to get caught up in only going out of our way to be kind when the occasion calls for it. Participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week should include taking time to reflect on how you can continue incorporating kind acts in everyday life. Not just for a week, but for the rest of the year. Remember that it doesn’t need to be RAK week for you to be a good person, intentional kindness can be done anytime.
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