My pastor kicked off a new sermon series a few weeks ago on the topic of Servalution. The basic premise is that we, as a church body, have the power to start a revolution in our community just by doing “practical, personal acts of service.”
To drive the lesson home, we were challenged with initiating random acts of kindness this week. While we’re just a couple of days into the week, I can tell you there’s something therapeutic and refreshing about doing something nice for others when they aren’t expecting it–and you aren’t expecting anything in return.
The thing I really like about random acts of kindness is that they don’t have to be overly complicated or expensive gestures. It can be as easy as letting everyone over while you’re driving instead of punching the gas. Taking cookies to your local fire station. Writing a real letter to a friend or relative just because. Or even cleaning up the room of a cleanliness-challenged child (or spouse…ha-ha!).
Not to sound too pollyanna-ish, but can you imagine how much nicer the world would be if everyone took it upon him or herself to initiate random acts of kindness for at least one week? If you’d like to try it but aren’t sure where to start, here’s my 2 cents to get you going:
1. Don’t overthink it.
Don’t go looking for the Nobel Peace Prize. If it takes you more than a few minutes to think of something kind to do, you’re thinking way too hard. Start off with something simple like holding the door open for someone behind you, complimenting a friend on their outfit or picking up your kids early from school for a day at the park.
2. Involve your kids.
It’s never too early to start teaching kids to be kind to others. Plus, teaching them this important lesson builds a great foundation for your home. During our daily family walks, I’ve been working with the boys on waving and saying hi to people who pass by. (You can tell we’re from the South, right?) They like doing it, and it’s pretty fun to see the faces of adults light up when the boys give them a chipper hi. Ask your kids to come up with a list of nice things they can do for someone else. They just might surprise you with their ideas.
3. Be kind to your family, too.
When doing a random acts of kindness, it’s tempting to focus on doing things for strangers or those you may not know well–but, don’t forget about your family. Those closest to you deserve a little kindness, too.
4. Give without expectations.
After you finish your random act of kindness, don’t go looking for someone to return the favor or even say thank you. While those things are certainly nice, choose to serve others without any expectations about what you should get in return. If your act goes unnoticed, so be it. Move on to the next kind act.
5. Involve others.
Why not challenge a friend or family member or two into completing a Random Acts of Kindness week with you? You can keep each other accountable and even share any good stories of how your acts helped others.
If you’re running thin on ideas of things to do, you can check out How to Practice Random Acts of Kindness or the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s idea-a-day calendars (bet you didn’t know that such a foundation even existed, huh?).
Serve on my good people!