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Set your spirits through random acts of kindness

Written by Easter Becker-Smith. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on January 25, 2011 with No Comments

by Easter Becker-Smith

The first major news story of the new year was about Ted Williams, a homeless man who was hoping for a job opportunity. A stranger named Doral Chenoweth III stopped, videotaped Williams, posted it on the Internet and millions of people started watching. Williamsí life changed overnight with multiple job offers pouring in.
The year 2011 began with a compelling example of how one person can help someone and change a life for the better. Each of us has enormous power to do wonderful, positive good. Our world gives us the ability to reach thousands and millions of people in just seconds.
What Chenoweth did for Williams is often referred to as a random act of kindness. The phrase originated around 1982 and is credited to American writer Anne Herbert who was in a restaurant and wrote on a placemat, ìPractice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.î Herbertís words serve as another example of the power one person has to change othersí lives in a meaningful way.
There is a not-for-profit organization that began in 1995 called Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, which ìinspires people to practice kindness and pass it on to others.î The foundation has declared the second week of February as Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is close to Valentineís Day, a day we celebrate our love.
If we each did one helpful or positive act for someone, what a kinder more thoughtful and considerate town, state, country and world we would live in. We can make a positive impact in service to someone else with just a few seconds or a few minutes of our time.
It does not take much effort to open a door, smile and say hello to someone you do not know. Small things can mean a lot to people. You can reach out to a stranger, or a neighbor or a friend. It is not hard to find things to do that will help someone.
Perhaps your neighbor works long hours and you know that she will not return home until late. It is a day when it has already started to snow and the prediction is 3-4 inches. You drive by and see her newspaper and garbage can at the end of the driveway. It would only take a couple of minutes to stop your car, grab her newspaper to take to the porch and roll the garbage can up to the garage door.
Can you imagine your neighborís delight after a working all day, driving home in the snow, to then find her garbage can right at her garage door and her newspaper on her doorstep? Wouldnít you love to have someone do that for you if you were in the same situation? Imagine the good feeling you would have knowing you helped someone in such a simple yet meaningful way.
My son told me the other day that he finished shoveling his walk and was going across the street to shovel an elderly neighborís walkway. I was so proud to hear of his kindness and consideration and thought how much my mother would appreciate someone doing the same for her. She lives alone out of state, without a nearby relative to retrieve her newspaper from the snow, or to shovel her walkway. How touched she would be if a neighbor took the time to lend a hand.
The point of performing a random act of kindness is to give without expecting anything in return. It always feels so good to help someone else. The person receiving your kindness does not even have to know who helped. It is not about getting credit or racking up points for your good deeds. It is merely taking the time to think of others and asking yourself how you can be of service, even in a small way. Then act and follow through with your intention of helping.
There is no reason to wait until the second week of February to perform a random act of kindness. Begin today and find how much a small helpful, kind deed makes such a positive impact for others and for yourself. You will find your happiness soars when you lift someone elseís spirits. Make helping others a daily habit.

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About Easter Becker-Smith

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Easter Becker-Smith provides coaching for individuals, groups and corporate teams.  She coaches individuals to help them discover their own path to balance and fulfillment in their lives.  She brings her years of experience in business as a highly regarded leader to help companies improve their productivity and efficiency by learning how to better communicate with each other.  Visit her website at www.coacheaster.com.

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