Who Benefits from “Random Acts of Kindness”?

Female and male hands are passing a red heart from one to the other in a symbolic gesture of random acts of kindness

Who is the beneficiary of random acts of kindness? Is it you, the giver? Could it be the unsuspecting recipient? Recent research in the New York Times pointed out that those who received kindness were often profoundly touched. The impact on the receiver seemed to be far greater than that for the giver. Yet, when you reach out to others it can actually help change your mood as well and bring a smile to your face all day.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed buying a cup of coffee for a stranger behind me, or paying the bridge toll for the next car in line. I also remember bringing a treat for someone not knowing it was their birthday; and for this person, a single older woman, she was touched to tears that someone cared for her.  Your kindness to a stranger, neighbor, friend or relative could actually turn a hard day for someone into one of deep gratitude. We just do not know what is going on in the lives of people and this little touch can turn an individual’s temperament from despair or pain into hope.  

The current news includes political extremes, global warming, and a struggling economy–seemingly providing an undercurrent of negativity, stress, and worry to individuals. It is only when joy happens that we seem to gain some trust in humankind. The simplest of acts of kindness can do just that.

These acts generally happen more spontaneously, in the spur of the moment. However, I think it would be fun to do with a child, grandchild or maybe even with someone who has a disability – allowing that person to be the giver and not always the receiver.  

You could start with a challenge to do this once a month and then proceed to do it once a week. Think of the joy you will bring to others as a gift you give yourself.  This does not necessarily have to be something expensive: let someone go ahead of you in line, bring cookies to a neighbor, leave a card on a windshield that wishes someone a good day.

You could even call a nursing home and ask the activity director to inquire if there is a resident without family you could visit occasionally.  I have known families who have adopted a “grandparent” this way.  They bring their children to visit and bring gifts especially at holidays. What a touching way to brighten the days of an elder at the same time as teaching children about kindness.

Neon sign with yellow quote against brick wall reading How do we change the world? One Random Act of kindness at the time.

What a different world it could be with the powerful act of surprising others by your random acts of kindness. What a great way to neutralize the negativity in our world!

It could be an act of kindness to let someone in your group of friends and family know about our monthly Zoom classes, which take place on the second Friday of each month at 11am PT. The classes empower and educate individuals and families to have the highest quality of life possible. You can sign yourself or a friend or family member up for a class on my website – just let the other person know beforehand.

Affirmation: “I surprise others with occasional random acts of kindness.


Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness