The Sentence For Committing Acts of Kindness? Good Karma

11 Aug
kindness lane

kindness lane (Photo credit: sensesmaybenumbed)

Kindness is one of the few things that rarely happen accidentally.  Being unintentionally nice to someone else just isn’t one of those things that occur.  Sure, sometimes you’re driving a little slow and some yahoo pulls out in front of you, then waves like you’ve just done him a favor, or you stop to give one last check down your grocery list and some woman dashes into the line you were aiming for then turns and says thank you but, in general, kindness is a deliberate, intentional act that we make a conscious effort to perform.

UN-kindness, on the other hand, is often performed unconsciously.  Many times we are rude, hurtful, and inconsiderate without even registering that it has occurred.  The woman walking into Macy’s in front of you didn’t deliberately shut the door in your face, it just didn’t occur to her to hold it open for you.  That guy on the freeway didn’t deliberately block you from merging into traffic, it never occurred to him to let you over in the first place.

So often, and I am guilty of this myself, we instantaneously assume that the other person is deliberately being inconsiderate but, more often than not, that’s not the case at all.  As technology has increased, so has our level of self-containment.  As everything around us speeds up, our ability to keep up has decreased, forcing our attention to the next appointment, the next errand, the next thing that has to get done, leaving little room in our thoughts for the here and now, which includes the people who are in that here and now with us.  We’ve stopped seeing people as neighbors, and started seeing them as obstacles, slowing us down in the sojourn from point A to point B.

Sure, there are moments when where you are going is more important than the people around you.  When your wife is about to give birth in the back seat of your car, for example.  Or when your kid somehow managed to fall through your glass coffee table and slice his leg open.  These things are emergencies.  They are the times when kindness and courtesy should be suspended for the good of another human life, and they are acceptable moments to be less than polite to your fellow man; however, being late for a meeting, being preoccupied with your schedule, being tired… these things are just not acceptable reasons to treat your fellow man with indifference.

It is so easy to become a kinder, more considerate person.  If you leave your house early enough that you’re not rushing to work, then you won’t be preoccupied with being late, so you’ll be able to leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, which means you’ll be able to let the car on the off-ramp merge with traffic without going into a panic about the time you’ve lost, and when you get to work a few minutes early, you’ll probably get a closer parking spot, which means you won’t be running through the door to be at your desk before your boss does the morning head-count, which means you will notice the woman coming through the door behind you with her arms full, and hold the door open for her, maybe even offer to help her because you have an extra minute or two, and you’ll get to your desk on time, un-frazzled, and with a smile on your face.

Now, here’s what you didn’t know:

The space you left between you and the car in front of you actually prevented the accident you would have been in this morning when he pulled out in front of you anyway because 50 cars had already passed without letting him merge, and he was furious and determined to get onto that highway, and the woman you held the door for?  She was the regional personnel manager who was at your office to make cut-backs on employees.  When you held the door for her and offered your assistance, she remembered you and, although your job was one of the ones on the chopping block, she decided to find room in the budget to keep you because you were considerate, on-time, calm and helpful- which were things the company values in their employees.

The point of this fictitious story is this:  we never know how our kindnesses will come back to us.  We never know what we are putting into motion by taking that extra moment to pay attention to the people around us and not being too busy to be kind.  Don’t allow yourself to become so wrapped up in the clock that you steamroll over the people who are sharing that moment in time with you, because that will come back to you, too.

Best of all?  Kindness is free.

I’d like to challenge each of you to deliberately practice kindness and consideration toward those around you for 24 hours; to take one full day and:

  1. Leave the proper distance between you and the car in front of you when on the highway (if you don’t remember from driving class, the proper distance is one car length for every 10 mph of driving speed- i.e. 60mph = 6 car lengths).
  2. Hold the door open for the person coming through behind you, even if it means waiting a few seconds for them to reach you.
  3. Offer to help someone who is obviously struggling, whether it’s with groceries, files, or just trying to reach something on the top shelf.
  4. Smile at every cashier that helps you, and wish them a good day when your transaction is over.
  5. Smile at children you pass, and if they smile back, make a funny face to make them laugh.
  6. Let someone have the good parking spot near the front of the lot.
  7. Let someone over, or let someone merge on the highway.
  8. Let someone with less items than you in front of you in line.
  9. Say you’re sorry if you’ve done something inconsiderate, even if it was an accident.
  10. Let someone else go first at an intersection.
  11. Let the other person go first when your paths cross while on foot.
  12. Do a chore no one else wants to do (either at home or in the office) without asking if anyone wants you to do it.  Just do it without saying anything.
  13. Step back and allow someone else to go through the doorway first.
  14. Say ‘Bless you’ or ‘Gesundheit’ if someone sneezes, even if you don’t know them.

There are many more things you can do to incorporate kindness into your lifestyle.  With the exception of 1, 3, 6, and 12, I do all of these every chance I get (I can’t be perfect, you know, lol!), because I like to think it makes the world a better place for someone else, even if just for that moment.

  1. What are some of the things you do (or would like to start doing) to add a little kindness to someone’s day?
  2. If you try the 24 hour challenge, what were the results?
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15 Responses to “The Sentence For Committing Acts of Kindness? Good Karma”

  1. Ann "afriendforever54" Friend August 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Thanks for the mention. 😀 God bless you!

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos August 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      It’s one of my ‘cyber-kindnesses’ that I try to ‘commit’ with every post. 🙂 Spreading the word about other people’s blogs is quick and easy… plus, it lets me find many many blogs that I enjoy reading on a regular basis! It’s a win-win!

      Like

  2. spiritchild1972 August 12, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    My husband and I do random acts of kindness all the time and now we are teaching our boys to do the same. We were in the supermarket the other day and an elderly couple in front of us at the check out were buying meagre amounts of food. Clearly they were struggling. The stuff they got was £3.50 short. They were embarrased and were trying to figure out which essential item needed to be sent back. My son who is 4 asked his Dad and I if we could pay the Nana and Grandads shopping and we did. I went up to the teller and gave her the money after throwing in a big bar of chocolate the wife had been eyeing up. It meant their shopping was free and they go to keep their money. The man asked for our details so he could post us some money when they got their pension and I just put my hand on his shoulder and said ‘Don’t worry about it, just think of us as friends you’ve never met before’ they didn’t know what to say but I’ve never told anyone else this. Your the first. I don’t think it should be called Random Acts of Kindness, I think it should be called Constant Acts of Kindness. Our world needs so much love right now. It’s heart is breaking under the strain of what we are allowing to happen to ourselves. People are suffering and it is up to us to do something. Anything to make their days a little brighter. The biggest thing we do is every time we get out big shop we buy a couple of pounds worth of tinned foods and other non perishables. When we have collected enough to give away we take it to the Food Banks with the Salvation Army and what’s funny is the last time we went there they thought we were there to collect food parcels lol clearly we don’t look like charitable types lol

    Like

    • KraftedKhaos August 12, 2013 at 7:41 am #

      Have you seen thevenusproject.com? I’m going to check into this a little more, but it looks awesome! If it’s as awesome as it looks at first glance, I’m going to write a blog post about it. You really should watch the ‘Paradise of Oblivion’ video on the page. It’s about 45 minutes long, but WOW!

      Like

      • spiritchild1972 August 12, 2013 at 8:15 am #

        The venus project is a proposed system of living developed by an artist. It is proposed by a higher source that has talked to me that this is one day how we will live, all menial jobs are replaced by machines, we get rid of money, politics and all spend our time pursuing self fullfillment with each of making a contribution to the running of society. Its what the zeitgeist movie is about and where we will end up when the bankers have been disposed of. When we get rid of need and greed, this is how we will end up. Nice thought aye 🙂 I beleive it too. Maybe not identical but pretty close to it.

        Like

        • KraftedKhaos August 12, 2013 at 9:06 am #

          I thought it was an awesome concept… except for the living in a city all the time part. I’d much rather have a nice little house out in the country, and visit cities when I wanted!

          Like

          • spiritchild1972 August 12, 2013 at 9:21 am #

            The concept being because we all won’t want for anything, because all our needs will be taken care of, it frees up time for all of us to pursue your passions. Whatever they be, my husband would paint, I would probably just cook, bake, write (I write poems sometimes and childrens stories for my sons but nothing like…..good lol they are most crazy), I would love to hold not classes but talks teaching people how to understand Spirit and stuff. I do know that by the time I’m a grandmother we will all mostly be Spiritual. I know when I’m a great grandmother, we will all mostly be comminuting through telepath and such. Because no one on this planet will want for nothing, and all our needs will be met, we will become higher beings and find peace every where. This…is the Venus Project. It’s not just city bound. But if you remove all the things you hate about living in a city, you wouldn’t care where you lived because you would be happy. Imagine a world where people work because they want to, not have to, where your medical and educational needs are taken care of, where there is no competition, no rich, no poor, no war, no filth, no hate, you can just get stoned, drink beer and know your doing it because it makes you feel good and not because your addicted. My husband creates awesome art when he partakes lol not to mention the deep philosophical conversations we have hahahaha But can never remember. Why is it when your stoned you have these ground breaking epiphanies that you can never remember when your not? Like I swear to God I find all the answers to the universe that even The Big Guy himself would be proud of and then I’m like ‘That is so genius there is no way I will forget that’ and then I do hahahahaha went off on a tangent there lol

            Like

            • KraftedKhaos August 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

              Well, I think the Venus Project is awesome! But my problem with the city isn’t really the crime, or the filth, it’s not the normal reasons people don’t want to live in the city. I *need* the wide open spaces in nature. The solitude. The smell of fresh-cut hay. I’ve always said that if money were no object, I’d have a house in the middle of nowhere, and a bunch of horses and dogs… and I’d travel the world. 🙂 My house in the country would be my home-base, the place to go when I felt overwhelmed by the madness of people everywhere. My haven, if you will.

              …and I keep a pen & paper handy for my ‘epiphanies’, so I don’t forget. LOL. 😉

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              • spiritchild1972 August 13, 2013 at 5:26 am #

                Yeah but we would have Robots cleaning up all the flith don’t you see? it would be a Utopia. No violence, no mess, no garbage or filth, no negative forces, because no one would want for anything, no one would need to steal or rob or take. Because everyones needs would be met, noone would have a reason to act out. And the cities would be as clean as the country.

                Like

                • KraftedKhaos August 13, 2013 at 8:10 am #

                  LOL… yes, but there would still be an abundance of people in the cities. That’s why I don’t want to live in a city. I want solitude. Space. I want to live far enough out that I only see other people if I *choose* to. I want a garden and horses and dogs. But that’s my personal preference. Other people like to be close to everything. They like the convenience of civilization right next door, and the bustle of humanity. I’m just not one of those people, lol.

                  Not saying I wouldn’t enjoy visiting the city, taking day trips, weekend trips or even longer, but I need my ‘home’ to be away from all of that, though.

                  Like

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