Random Acts of Kindness Week 2015: Spread a Wave of Kindness Online

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The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAKF) is encouraging people to commit 100,000 random acts of kindness by Sunday, Feb. 15, amplifying the kindness by sharing that act online to the world during International Random Acts of Kindness Week.YouTube Preview Image

“Imagine if for one week, all of your social media feeds were flooded with kindness. Uplifting news stories, inspiring quotes, kind comments…for one week everyone united to focus on the positive. That’s the goal of #RAKWeek,” the RAKF website states. The goal is for people to do an act of kindness, and then create a social media post using the hashtag #RAKWeek2015.

Now in it’s 20th year, International Random Acts of Kindness Week began Monday, Feb. 9, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 15. Millions of people around the world participate each year, including classroom students and teachers, community organizations, and individuals. The RAKF highlights dozens of kindness stories from RAK Week, as well as hundreds of kindness ideas, on its website.  [Read more…]

The Kindness Challenge Day 4

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A few of Shannon Weber’s loveyou2.org notes.

Sometimes I think the massive onslaught of electronic messages we see all day long starts to blend together like some kind of digital stew in our brains. Bits and bytes start to swirl together and end up getting lost in the mix. So when an actual heartfelt paper message crosses our path, one that expresses authentic feeling—love, admiration, thanks, congratulations, encouragement—that stops us for a moment and stays with us for a long time. I guess electronic heartfelt messages stand out from the rest, too, but there is something about a note, card or good-old-fashioned letter that stands out as special.

Today’s Kindness Challenge, as part of Random Acts of Kindness Week, is to write a note, card or letter to someone. It could be someone you know now, someone from your past, or even a stranger. Is there a teacher you want to thank? An old friend you could share how you really feel about your friendship? A family member you haven’t spoken to in awhile? Or the very people you share a roof with? [Read more…]

The Kindness Challenge Day 3

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random-acts-of-kindness-week-random-acts-of-kindness-foundationIt’s Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, and time for a third Kindness Challenge. Every day this week I’m issuing the challenges to encourage us to start a wave of kindness through our communities and the world.

On Monday I encouraged readers to smile a little more. Tuesday’s challenge was to have lunch with someone you don’t normally eat with. Today’s challenge: let someone behind you in line jump ahead of you. The extra twist is to tell the person you’re doing it for Random Acts of Kindness Week, and ask them to “pay it forward” by doing something kind for someone else. [Read more…]

The Kindness Challenge Day 2

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random-acts-of-kindness-week-smiling-is-good-for-you-science-of-smiling-by-pam-marino-good-neighbor-storiesIt’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, Day 2, and each day I am issuing readers a “Kindness Challenge,” some simple act to spread kindness and cheer to friends and strangers you come across during your day.

Yesterday I challenged readers to smile at one extra person during the day. Did you know that smiling gives you the same (if not better) effect on your brain as eating chocolate, and that the relaxing effect of smiling is similar to getting a good night’s sleep? People who smile more are generally healthier and live longer than people who don’t. [Read more…]

Be Kind! Random Acts of Kindness Week Kicks Off

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Image by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

Kindness is a popular Internet topic. People are consistently searching the word “kindness,” which I know personally since the Good Neighbor Stories “Be Kind: Kindness Ideas” page is usually the most viewed on the site every single day. It’s heartening to know that there are folks out there who actively seek to be kind in a world where the bad can at times seem to overshadow the good. But this week the good will hopefully shine above all in a wave of kindness, thanks to International Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, which kicks off today and ends on Sunday.

For 19 years the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and others have promoted the event, which always falls during the week of Valentine’s Day. The idea is to promote kindness by encouraging people and organizations to perform good deeds for others around them, both those they know and total strangers. The acts can range from simple things like smiling at people, to more involved community volunteering. The foundation has a list of 10 ideas for this year’s week, plus dozens more for places like the home, school, and office, as well as hundreds more ideas on its site. Of course you can always check out my “Be Kind” page for more ideas. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in February

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national-heart-month-american-heart-association-american-heart-monthThere are many problems we can’t individually solve, from a possible mega-drought in California to the entertaining-but-possibly-serious snafus at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. We can’t fix those head-scratching bathrooms in Sochi (!), but we can look around our own communities and find something we can fix, or at least take steps toward a positive resolution. Here are five ways you can help your own community or circle of influence in February.

1. Mend a Broken Heart: This is the 50th Anniversary of American Heart Month. The American Heart Association (AHA) is teaming up with Walgreens to offer free blood pressure screenings all during February. According to the AHA, unchecked blood pressure can seriously damage arteries, the heart and other organs. Get checked, and make sure those you love get checked, too. And consider readying yourself to one day save a life by signing up for a CPR course. The AHA offers many levels of training, including the basic “Friends and Family.” The AHA website allows you to search by zip code for classes, and you can even get CPR training online at your convenience. [Read more…]

Kindness is Good for the Heart

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Call it a Valentine’s Day/National Heart Health Month/Random Acts of Kindness Week mashup. Today’s post for Day 4 of Random Acts of heart-shaped-tomato-random-acts-of-kindness-week-kindness-is-good-for-your-heartKindness Week is all about why kindness is good for your heart.

I always assumed that kindness is good not only for the world at large, but for us personally. I know for me I always feel good inside when I offer kindness from a true and pure place, not just emotionally, but spiritually, and physically. I get a little lift in my mood, and my step is a little lighter. I’ve extrapolated that since I feel good in the moment, something must be going on inside my body that is inherently healthy.

Turns out there is solid research that confirms that assumption. And that research not only points to a momentary benefit, but a long-lasting benefit of a healthier heart when kindness is practiced regularly. David R. Hamilton, Ph.D., author of Why Kindness is Good for You, says keeping up acts of kindness will reduce your risk of heart disease over time, at least a little. [Read more…]

Profiles in Kindness

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For Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, I’m sharing a few examples of people who are all about showing kindness to others.  They are Jacob-Goeders-Leukemia-Slayer-Santa-Slayer-Project-kindness-good-neighbor-storiespeople that see a need and try to fill it, and naturally feel compassion toward people facing difficult circumstances.

Take a moment to read about these kind folks, and consider where you might see a need that could be filled. In the meantime, you can try today’s Random Acts of Kindness Foundation assignment by reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time. Circle back and let me know how it goes, or share any other act of kindness you perform or encounter.

There’s a link to the full story at the end of each profile. Also, take a look at my posts for Day 1 and Day 2 of Random Acts of Kindness Week 2013 for more inspiration.

Jacob Goeders

The first profile in kindness is a young man who is extremely pure in heart, and filled with courage despite the challenges he faces. He is Jacob Goeders, better known as The Leukemia Slayer.

Jacob is an 11-year-old boy in a multi-year battle with leukemia. I met Jacob back in December 2011 at a Christmas event for children with serious illnesses. He shared with me about how he asked his 2,000 friends on his Leukemia Slayer Facebook page to send in a $1 each, so he could buy presents for the other kids on the oncology ward. It seems he had been diagnosed the year before around Christmastime, and he knew how difficult it was to be stuck in the hospital undergoing painful treatments. [Read more…]

‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Has Bay Area Roots

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As we celebrate Day 2 of Random Acts of Kindness Week, it’s interesting to note that the term ‘random acts of kindness’, which is now so firmly planted in our collective cultural mind, was born right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Writer and peace activist Anne Herbert is widely recognized as the person who coined the phrase, “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” She reportedly wrote the phrase on a Sausalito restaurant place mat in 1982 or 1983. Because it turned the well-used terms “random acts of violence” and “senseless acts of violence” on their heads, many people found it instantly inspiring. Before Internet memes, it became a popular saying on bumper stickers, posters, and more.

Thirty years later Random Acts of Kindness Week and Day are gaining popularity, with more and more people and organizations wanting to promote awareness of how important spreading kindness for kindness’ sake.

Yesterday’s assignment from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was to smile at 10 strangers. Today’s assignment: buy something for the person in line behind you. The above video will serve as the perfect inspiration. If you try it, let me know how it goes!

For more inspiration, see our Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.

 

Show a Little Kindness During Random Acts of Kindness Week 2013

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It’s time for Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is celebrated today through next Sunday, Feb. 17. Consider focusing a little time on showing kindness to others in either small or big ways, and join in on a national wave of spreading cheer.

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If you’re looking for some prompts to get you started, we have an entire page dedicated to kindness called Be Kind: Kindness Ideas. The page includes links to past articles I’ve posted on the topic, as well as links to organizations that feature hundreds of ideas. [Read more…]