A Random Act of Kindness

A Random Act of Kindness

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. (Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert comic strip)

While riding on the WCEx (a commuter train which delivers people from suburbs of Vancouver to the downtown area) this morning, I witnessed a random act of kindness. A middle-aged woman had dropped her phone on the platform while she was waiting for the train and the the screen was completely smashed; she literally cut her finger on it when she tried to unlock it. After she got onto the train and found a seat beside one of her work colleagues, she explained the story to her co-worker. This woman was pretty upset about her phone and was speaking a little louder than what is usual on an early(ish)-morning train.

A young man across the aisle evidently was listening. When the woman had finished explaining to her co-worker what had happened, he leaned toward her and gave her the name of a really good iPhone repair place. The business, he explained, was in the train station where we were heading and would be able to have her phone fixed in couple hours. He also explained that all of the IT guys with whom he worked absolutely raved about how the work at this repair shop was such high-quality and somewhat inexpensive. But the young man was not done with just suggesting the place to go. He had also written down the number, hours, and cost of fixing the woman’s phone and then passed the piece of paper with the information to the woman.

The woman, who I assume was incredibly surprised by the man’s thoughtfulness, didn’t really reply. She took the paper and put it in her purse. The young man still had a smile on his face when he hopped off the train.

 

Some people are just nice. When they see a problem which they are able to fix, they jump into action. That is what the young man did today. It didn’t appear to matter to him that the woman showed little gratitude for his kindness; he was just please to have been able to help. I think that this is pretty beautiful.

Random acts of kindness are always great to witness and they’re even better to take part in. There is something really cool about being able to help someone or brighten his or her day. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment that is different from what you get when you finish an essay or finally get around to cleaning out the back of the fridge. It is (hopefully) completely outside of yourself.

I was lucky enough to participate in a few different groups which had a few days/weeks every year when the goal was to perform random acts of kindness. In one group, we walked around our high school on Valentine’s day and gave flowers to people who were eating lunch alone. With another group, we brought a keyboard, a guitar, and a few drums to a seniors’ home and instead of just singing to them, we learned a number of classics and standards and encouraged them to sing with us.

My own experiences were more organized than the act I was privileged enough to see this morning, but there are so many ways in which we can be kind to one another. My sister-in-law works as a care aid in a facility which looks after seniors who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s and the like. She does a lot of things that she doesn’t have to, just to brighten the days of her patients. When she married my brother this past August, she took a few extra minutes before going to the ceremony to stop at her work and celebrate the wedding with the people she looks after–they were ecstatic to see her dressed in her wedding gown. She also does things day-to-day, like helping some of the women put on a little lipstick or perfume in the morning. I doubt that these things are in her job description, but she does them anyways. They are no longer random (because she has been doing them for a few years), but they are certainly kind.

Not every act has to be huge and public. Sharing a smile with a sad-looking stranger on the street is enough. Holding the door is enough. Whatever you can do is enough.

If you’re interested in learning more about random acts of kindness, there is actually a foundation. You can check it out here.

If you have any stories about your own experiences with random acts of kindness, I encourage you to share them in the comments. Remember: part of what inspires random acts is seeing others perform them first. This is a fad that I hope you will follow!

Stay classy,

Kassieboo

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Journal 4

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. (Charles Dickens)

Incorporating Parts of Myself

I linked my Twitter account to Classy and True today. It turned out to be a lot more difficult than I would have guessed. I couldn’t make the Twitter Timeline widget work how I wanted it to–it wasn’t displaying a live feed–so I did what any mildly-resourceful person in his or her 20’s-50’s would do in this day and age: I googled it. Luckily, there is a huge community of WordPress.com users who are only too willing to share their knowledge and skills with one another. I quickly found a forum which dealt with exactly my problem. Lots of users were having the same difficulty and lots of users were trying to assist in fixing the problem. Halfway down the page, somebody mentioned that she had fixed her own blog’s problem and, although she thought that her mistake was silly, she shared the way in which she dealt with the problem. As it turns out, we were both making the same mistake and her answer completely fixed my Twitter feed.

Emotional/Philosophical Tangent

This is one of the reasons that I don’t completely hate the internet: yes, there are perverts and weirdos and trolls who roam unsightly URLs  and Facebook discussions looking for their next unsuspecting, Angry Birds-playing victim, but there are also millions of people who are willing and happy to share their vast knowledge for no other reason than because they have that knowledge. While the internet has contributed to many people becoming socially awkward and distracted, it has also become an outlet for lots of people to help others using skills that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. I find this to be kind of beautiful in its own way. This resource with which we have a love-hate relationship has opened up innumerable possibilities for providing others with aid.

Reasoning for Incorporation

I attached my Twitter to Classy and True because it is really the only social media I have which is even remotely appropriate for the blog. I don’t mean that I spend my Facebook time cussing and putting up inappropriate pictures of myself because I don’t. However, I’ve had my Facebook account since I was in grade 9, almost 8 years ago. I don’t really think that my 14-year-old self applies to my vision for my blog. In the future I may choose to create a Facebook page which is only for Classy and True, but with me being in my fourth year of university, I just don’t have the time for that at the moment.

My Twitter account is pretty docile, for the most part. I have always had teachers and parents and family as followers so I’ve never said or tweeted anything that wasn’t appropriate for my mother or English 12 teacher. I feel that it would not be difficult for me to tailor my tweets to fit my vision for this blog. This really doesn’t involve much change as many of my tweets tend to focus on human observation and things like language and manners (okay, they’re sometimes rants).

I’ll spend a little time exploring social media options and see if there are any other parts of myself which I would like to attach to Classy and True, but I do want to keep this blog relatively simple. Maybe I’m old fashioned enough to believe that (hopefully) good writing should speak for itself and gain followers of content rather than purely presentation.

Anyways, have a good week! I’ll be back soon with more journal entries and blog posts.

Kassieboo