Celebrate with random acts of kindness

Published 10:55pm Friday, February 8, 2013

Growing up I remember spending the week before Valentine’s  Day cutting, pasting, gluing and glittering homemade Valentine cards. I don’t remember much about how they looked exactly but I can tell you that they weren’t the prettiest, most creative or even the most festive cards my friends and family would receive, but they were special. They were special because I spent time thinking of each person, and made something just for them.

Spending time and a little thoughtfulness, I soon learned, was something people cherish.  And as much as I wanted to buy the Strawberry Shortcake or the Sponge Bob pre-made Valentine’s cards at the store each year, attach a Dum-Dum sucker and call it a day, I knew that spending that extra time would mean more than a clever joke about some fun-loving square pants.

As I’ve grown older I’ve only seen this become more and more true — taking the time for a little act of thoughtful kindness can go a long way.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day let’s join together as a city and take the time for some random acts of kindness.

Here are a few ideas I’m planning to try out this week in the spirit of kindness.

The easiest and perhaps most obvious option is to pick up the check for someone you wouldn’t normally pay for and maybe someone you don’t even know. Remember that you’re not looking for showers or praise or anything in return — it’s just a random act of kindness. So paying for a friend’s lunch at El Ranchero or maybe spending some money at the Tally Ho on mom and dad for a change, could be just the thing to kick off the spirit of the week.

And if you’re looking to add an additional level of excitement to this week of random acts of kindness, why not, if you’re going to the Selma Walton Theater, leave some money at the ticket booth and ask to pay for the next person in line. It’s acts of kindness like this, that will leave the one who sells you the ticket and the person who receives the random act of kindness, ready to pay it forward as well.

Now I understand that not everyone has extra money to spend, and random acts of kindness don’t have to big flashy or expensive, so don’t let that hold you back.

Bring a homemade treat to your workplace or school to share with coworkers and friends. Make it pink or red and you just might turn your random act of kindness into an impromptu Valentine’s party.

And you can’t go wrong with old school homemade Valentine’s cards. This is the perfect week to pull out your markers and glitter pens, write a sweet or funny message and show the people in your life that you’re willing to spend a little time on them.

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