Random acts of kindness have been sweeping the nation over the last few years, and I think it’s pretty amazing. There is no downside to being nice to a stranger. Whether it’s buying a coffee, paying for groceries, or leaving a note on a windshield, the world can always use a little more love and kindness.
But what if we also focused on un-random acts of kindness? What if, when you paid for that coffee for a stranger, you picked one up for your best friend, too, who you know is toiling away at the office, working late every night this week to meet a deadline. Or what if while paying that nice young man’s grocery bill, you picked up a few meals for your girlfriend who’s toddler is going through the terrible twos, and she barely has time to go to the grocery store, never mind cook dinner. And what if instead of leaving a note for a stranger, you wrote a love note to your friend, tucked it in the mail, and sent it off with love?
We’ve become so into this act of doing something unexpected for someone who would never expect it, but I think there’s an incredible value in doing something for someone you know, who chances are wouldn’t expect it, either. Things often mean more when they come from someone you love, and an unexpected gesture can be such a gift.
Last week was a really, really tough week for me. We had gotten the news that our son, at 8 months, needed to be quarantined from the world for 4 weeks to allow his tiny immune system to reset enough for him to be a functioning and healthy little babe. Life was delivering me a very clear message – motherhood changes things. It changes you. It changes you ability to do things – and I finally had to sit up and listen. Now, I won’t say I did it with grace. I spent more moments than I care to admit to, in tears, just totally overwhelmed. And then this arrived:
Now, you probably think that’s from my best friend, or someone extremely close to me, but I’m going to tell you a secret. It’s not. They were sent from a woman I have never met in person, but who knows my husband well and is kept up to date with the happenings of our family. Because we follow each other on social media, she’s in the know of the struggles I openly post about motherhood. And for a reason that I might never know, she chose the day that I spent a good majority of sitting in my couch in tears, feeling very close to having a breakdown, to send me this beautiful ray of hope and light.
The flowers are beautiful. But the note. The note had me in tears. I quickly tucked it away some place safe, and I’ve pulled it out a few times already to re-read it. I know to say those words are life changing sounds dramatic, but they were life-in-that-moment changing. I stopped crying. My overwhelm was lifted. I felt empowered to be the mom I needed to be to get my family through this next challenging phase. And I immediately got up and started taking action, and that action has already proven to be such a blessing to our family (sleep training for the WIN!).
Not all acts of kindness need to be random. Who in your life is struggling? Or having the most fantastic day ever that you want to help cheerlead? Who would love to hear from you? When it comes to acts of kindness, let’s be un-random now and again. Let’s be thoughtful with our words and intentional with our actions, spreading kindness and love to someone that we know needs it.