Random Acts of Kindness benefit all
The many Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) recently shared on social media and through word of mouth from neighbors were truly heartwarming. From shoveling and using snow blowers to clear driveways and sidewalks, to offering free plumbing services, neighbors helped neighbors during our snowy days and cold temperatures. Sick neighbors were brought meals and flowers. Babysitting was offered so parents could get work done while school was out. A ramp was built for a senior dog, rides home were offered on New Year’s Eve and support was given to Ukrainian families.
With RAK day on February 17 and RAK week February 12-18, we all have the opportunity to continue to spread good cheer, show appreciation and help each other out.
Visit www.randomactsofkindness.org for creative ideas on how to celebrate RAK day and week. The website offers resources for kindness at school, at home and at work with downloadable guides and activities. For more inspiration, follow sites on social media that provide daily doses of kindness.
One never knows how a RAK will impact another person. One resident shared that seeing beautiful photographs that had been shared on Nextdoor really cheered her up during a bleak holiday season. Another shared that an online compliment about her business made her day. Yet another was gifted a book from a neighbor that was received at just the right time. A friend shared that she reached out to a teacher and asked if there was anything she needed. The teacher burst into tears and asked for a few small things.
Kindness benefits the giver as well as the receiver. In research studies, kindness has been shown to decrease stress and blood pressure and stimulate the production of serotonin, which is basically a mood stabilizer. Kindness triggers elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and a natural high is produced, often referred to as “helper’s high.” People claim to feel happier, stronger and more energetic after helping others.
Accept the challenge to find ways to express kindness concepts such as respect, caring, integrity, inclusiveness, responsibility and courage this month. The RAK website encourages joining a movement to incorporate kindness into daily life by looking for ways to spread cheer all year.
Just starting with one simple act of kindness is all it takes to be part of RAK day or week and get that “helper’s high” that might carry into the rest of the year.
By Lisa Nicklanovich