Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fun Monday-Acts of Kindness

This week's host is mommywizdom, and she wants us to get in the holiday spirit by giving. Here are the instructions:

1) Your job this week is to go out and perform a random act of kindness. Now, before you freak out, please read on. This is actually really easy!! This act may be for someone you know or for a perfect stranger. It can be big or small, it'll all up to you. Obviously, it should be something within your means. For instance, don't go out and buy your next door neighbor a car and then complain to me that you can't make your mortgage payment, OK? OR

2) If you've had a random act of kindness bestowed on you (recently), we'd love to hear about it. How did it impact you? How did it make you feel?

I must say this has been an interesting assignment. I didn't read it until Thursday, so I cut myself short on the amount of time to do a RAK, but it really shouldn't take much time, right? I mean, if you can't find an opportunity in three days, you must not be looking hard enough. Now, I try to be nice to people all of the time, but I'm human. Let's face it, I've had my shared of ill tempered, flip the bird moments, and don't even get me started about that time I had to go all ninja on J.C. Penney's in order to get them to clear up a charge they screwed up on my credit card. Poor Teen Angel was about eight years old, and she ran to get her daddy because "mommy was all crazy mad on the phone and it was scaring her". However, most of the time I'm pretty kind to strangers and friends alike, but I found this assignment interesting because it forced me to think about it and wonder why being randomly kind to strangers isn't always second nature.

I found an opportunity yesterday to do a simple RAK in the mall. We went to hell to Christmas shop yesterday, whereas hell equals the line at Bath and Body Works, the line at the kiosk for mall gift certificates and the line for a restroom in Chick-Fil-A. As a friend of mine would say, it was elbows and ***holes everywhere you went, and within the first ten minutes I was ready to go home. That was not an option since I still had 85% of my shopping left to do.

I was trying to decide if a large unsweetened tea was worth the walk all the way back down to the food court when I overheard an elderly couple discussing stores. She was in a wheelchair, and he was feebly pushing it. They were looking for a bookstore and headed in the wrong direction. I approached them and asked if I could help them. They asked where the bookstore was, and I gave them directions to both bookstores inside the mall. I offered to help push the chair, but they wouldn't let me. They very much appreciated the directions and went about their way. I was pleased that I was able to help, but I walked away wondering if I would have been bold enough to approach them if I weren't trying to fulfill this assignment. Maybe. Maybe not. Which brings me to the subject of my husband. He is the king of random acts of kindness. He does it all the time without even thinking about it. I don't know how many times we've been shopping in Wal-Mart, and I've happened upon him in the grocery aisles lifting canned goods off an upper shelf for a senior citizen. At the local convenience store where he gets breakfast after dropping Teen Angel off at school he often makes coffee, resets the cappuccino machine and fixes the ice maker that always jams up. He often goes outside to pump gas for little old ladies. When he leaves he sometimes buys a Slim Jim for the neighborhood dog that hangs out at the store. Wherever he goes, he usually finds an opportunity to help someone. He has a real soft spot for old folks and animals. Many times he has driven the church bus for a senior citizens outing. I came out of the movie rental place one night and didn't see him. I finally found him behind the nearby liquor store feeding a stray cat some cat food out of our grocery sacks. He is always helping someone else, and it IS second nature for him. I want it to be second nature for me. That's why I'm going to make a point to practice this little experiment more often. Thank you mommywizdom for the challenge, this week and in weeks to come.


Mike Golch said...

Just stopped bt to say Hi and that I have an award waiting for you on my site.

swamp~elf said...

Am here iced-in with my broom in Oklahoma and decided to stop by and look at your header to make me feel like I was in the tropics. Thanks.
Loved your feel-good story. Warm and fuzzy.
Your description of your Bath and Body Works experience is one I can relate to. Makes you just want to stomp those pink dots that have on their floor leading from the entrance straight to the cash register.

IamwhoIam said...

:) to you good post. Maybe you RAK could be to give hubby an extra little peck tonight for his RAK.

MommyWizdom said...

I think you've struck gold here. That is exactly it... are we "bold enough" to be kind to strangers? I think it's easy to be kind to friends and family. It's total strangers that make it a challenge.

Thanks for your insights and for playing along.

I hope you find many more opportunities in the weeks to come.

Have an awesome week!

karisma said...

Well Im glad to hear you tried so hard Hula! LOL! I don't believe you though, I think you are mostly kind as well. Your DH must have very good karma! Im sure it rubs off on you too!

Now I think it was a RAK on your behalf just to tackle those shops at this time of year, I mean really its so horrible and you were there to buy for others right? Wonderful kind girl, (I still have not gone shopping, Im too scared!)

{i}Post said...

You both sound like awesome people! My hubby has a connection and a soft spot with animals as well. It is one of the qualities that attracted me to him in the first place!

Cruise Mom said...

My hubby is one of those who seems to do a RAK everywhere he goes. Of course, being able to fix anything that is broken helps! I'm like you, sometimes I'm not comfortable offering assistance to people I don't know.

Janis said...

You dont give yourself enough credit. I can tell by reading your post that you are a RAK kind of girl. Look at your RAK towards total strangers at the Mall, you helped then despite being "irritated" having to put up with the craziness of the Holidays. My Hubby sounds like yours, he too is a kind considerate person, Lucky Me!

Heather said...

I loved this post! I'm sure your assistance was appreciated by the couple you helped, and your hubby sounds awesome! Feeding the cat really got me.

Sayre said...

Perhaps this one reason why you and your husband are together - to learn from each other. Kudos to you for helping those lost people out. They don't sound like they had the stamina to wander around for long.

Alison said...

what a wonderful post!! your husband sounds a bit like mine..isn't it wonderful!!