Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Random kindness for you

In the past two or three decades, the term "random acts of kindness" has been popular. In fact, there's even an International Random Acts of Kindness Week (it was February 10-16 this year). Wikipedia says that the phrase "may have been coined by Anne Herbert, who says that she wrote 'Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty' on a place mat at a Sausalito restaurant in 1982 or 1983."

The idea of practicing kindness in a random fashion is a delightful idea, isn't it? Have you ever had someone ahead of you in line pay for your coffee or your meal? Have you ever done something kind for someone else in spur-of-the-moment fashion? You may remember the photograph from November 2012 of a NYPD officer, Lawrence DePrimo, who gave socks and a pair of boots he had purchased to a bare-footed homeless man. Many examples exist. And you no doubt have your own.

It's a wonderful act of love and compassion to reach out to strangers in some way, and it makes your heart so happy to do so. Don't stop doing that. But here's another thought:

Remember to treat yourself to some random acts of kindness or senseless acts of beauty, too. Doing so will fill up your well—a source from which you'll draw to show love and kindness to others. Self-love and self-care are not only acceptable. They're essential.

What helps fill up your well? Quiet reading time? A spa treatment? Lunch with a friend? Snuggling with your sweetie? Whatever it is, you don't always have to plan it ahead of time. Just do it. Today.

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