“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” ― Ben Carson
Well, it’s finally here. Today is day one of my 29 days of kindness.
I have the same feeling that you get at the beginning of a new relationship. It’s a mix of nerves and excitement. I’m looking forward to see what the next 29 days has in store, to see where this experiment will take me. But I’m nervous to be putting myself out there; I’m nervous about the potential for misunderstandings and confusion, for skeptical looks from my recipients.
Being kind shouldn’t be complicated, but sometimes it feels that way. I don’t know that we live in a world where everyday acts of kindness are the norm, so it will be interesting to see how people respond.
To ease my way into it, I started with an act that didn’t leave me face to face with my recipient: I left a vase of flowers on a neighbor’s doorstep.
I live in an apartment complex. At the end of my building lives a young couple. I see them regularly on my daily walks, and we always say “hello” to each other and smile, otherwise I know very little about them beyond what the exterior of their apartment tells me. Thankfully, it tells me one thing loud and clear: someone that lives there likes plants.
Now an apartment place is nowhere near the ideal gardening environment, but this couple has managed to turn the corner of the building into a miniature botanical garden. I’m incredibly impressed, especially since this is the result of my sole attempt at plant care and maintenance since living here:
My 1-year-old son Oliver helped me pick out the festive fall flowers from the local grocery store. Add in a mini scarecrow and a little butterfly (leftover decorations from my wedding) and it was a pretty cute arrangement.
The card attached reads “You are the recipient of a RAOK (random act of kindness).” It then follows with the quotes:
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” –Mother Teresa
These cute cards are courtesy of the website Thirty Handmade Days. I plan on attaching one to each act of kindness, when possible, and then writing my own “29 random acts of kindness” tag along with the number of the recipient. For example, today was #1.
I felt like a stealth ninja when it came time to drop the flowers off on the doorstep. I waited until I saw the couple take off for a jog and then sprinted over to make the drop before they returned.
I was kind of bummed when I realized I wouldn’t get to see their reaction to the flowers, but then I remembered an important thing about this project, about being kind. We don’t do nice things for the potential joy it has to bring to us, we do it because we want to bring joy to another. And today I hope I did just that.