Stacy's Place on Earth
Blog Home Change to Small Font Change to Large Font
Wednesday, July 05, 2006:
A "random act(s) of kindness day"
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Isn't it amazing how one small gesture, good or bad, can set the tone for the rest of our day, or maybe even the week? I've been thinking about this quite a lot, because it's a topic we've been discussing at work lately, and it's something that's been affecting people I know, so I thought....hmmmm. Maybe I can control my destiny, just a tiny little bit, by passing on a small act of kindness. Nothing too time-consuming or expensive. It could be as simple as paying $0.40 for someone's toll, or buying someone a cup of coffee, or offering to help them with a project that they're working on. Now these are things we probably all do at one time or another without even thinking about it. But tomorrow I am consciously going to go into work with the plan to do as many nice things as I possibly can. Not so that I complimented, though that would be nice (LOL), but because it really can put a smile on your face to do something nice "just because". Just because I woke up this morning. Just because I felt like it. Just because you happened to be here. Just because.
I think what really motivated me was that at work, part of my developmental plan for the 2nd quarter of this year was to come up with a book for myself and my co-workers to read that pertained to what we did for the company (branch operations for a credit union - in other words: dealing with the public) and how to improve customer relations, both internal and external. Well, not everyone I know reads. Gasp! (I know, it shocked me, too). So I had to select a book that was going to be easy to read, and if it didn't have pictures, it had to have a lot of quick, concise points that would reduce the overall glazed-eye effect. I eventually found one called "The Fred Factor". Now the success of this project was already in peril just from the name alone. See, we have a colleague named Fred, and his name does not generate positive thoughts and certainly not happy ones. But once we got past the name, to my pleasant surprise, my co-workers really enjoyed the book and got a lot out of it. We had a breakfast meeting with our manager, where I lead the discussion, and it was really eye-opening to get such overwhelmingly positive feedback, and I felt really happy about the whole project. What's fun is to watch each other use the "Fred" factor everyday. To consciously be aware of others doing good deeds really does motivate a person to try to do the same. I guess you'd call that learning by example, something our parents (!) have been trying to each us for years.
Now what exactly is the "Fred" Factor? Well, if you didn't click on the link to read all about it, the Fred factor is named for an amazing mail carrier (named, um, Fred) that loved his job so much, he went above and beyond his normal carrier duties everyday just to take care of the people on his route. He noticed when people went on vacation so he would box up their mail and keep it safe so it wasn't taken while families were away from home. Or remembering people's names, asking about their children, their jobs, and even going as far as to show up in his neighborhood on his day off to lend a helping hand to someone in need. He's really an amazing person, and yes, Fred does really exist. He is the person we all wish we could be. And truly, we could. No matter what we do in life, if we do it with passion, we can become extraordinary, too.
So tomorrow, instead of cursing at the semi who cuts in front of me so I slam on my brakes and end up wearing my Starbuck's white chocolate mocha, I am going to take a deep breath, put the coffee down until I park my car, and just enjoy the 4-mile drive to work. Now if I can manage that much, then the rest is a peace of cake *g*


  1. Random acts of kindness are the best, to do and to receive. Good luck.

  2. I agree with Kris!
    When I try and read your blog the first few letter of each row is covered up with the pictures on the side. I wasnt like that before. Is it just me? Have a great day :)

  3. Ooo. I love RAK! I feel so good when I do something nice for someone else:) I have to admit I probably don't do it often enough, though. I'll have to try to be more conscious of it!

  4. Um, not sure what's going on - somone else mentioned it, too. I'm just gonna blame Blogger LOL. At least for now, unless it keeps happening...

  5. I guess I could do a random act of kindness - I had no idea that a few of your readers would actually be interested in my ... site.
    So, I'll share - is that being kind???

    Only you can judge
    Michele's secret revealed

    Don't spread it around too much -- I'm shy.

    Other than that - yes! People ARE kind..
    I will demonstrate.
    Yesterday I took my brand new bike on its first real run - (it's been 27 years since I'd ridden)
    I get on the bike and the chain slipped right off. Pedals spinning, wheels going nada.
    Along comes this family of 5 coming off the rail trail. My kids are riding circles around the parking lot and tell them (why do they do that anyway?) why Mommy is stuck sitting on the car staring at her bike. The Father ambles over and said " I haven't looked at one in a few years, but I'll see what I can do for you."

    One of his older girls comes over to me and says" I'm so sorry your bike is broken " and gives me a shy smile.
    I was astounded!
    What beautiful manners!
    I said "Thank You! I really appreciate your saying that! Thank you!"

    The man comes over with his wife and together, they figured out how to loosen the chain and they fixed it for me!
    Meanwhile, I was sitting there totally clueless ( felt my blondness I can tell you!) and a stranger - strangers when I include the whole family, helped me and I was able to ride bikes with my kids.

    This was as random as you can get.
    If he hadn't been there at that time, would I have had a chance to ride? Nope. Not a chance.
    It was random.
    It was kindness.
    It was AWESOME!!!!

    Oh! and Kelley! Nope, it's not you, the left margin is skewed when I view too!

    Have a wonderful day Ladies!!!

  6. Your blog reminded me of the movie "Pay it Forward", where the kid does a school project about random acts of kindness.
    I would like to think of myself as kind but I know that I don't do it as often as I should.
    Just yesterday as I was driving down the interstate and some woman (with a huge chip on her shoulder) wanted to cut in front of me. Part of me wanted to just let her but the other part said "no, she should wait just like you did". The devil won that one and I just kept driving and the woman was ticked (I could tell by the hand gestures and screaming coming from my right side). I am still a work in progess. :o)

    On the other side, I have been the recipient of a kind act and it made me a little uncomfortable. I am a very independent person. I'm not used to anyone doing for me, not even DH. So if someone offers to carry my suitcase or help me with something, I usually turn them down. With a smile and a thank you but a turn down just the same. I have often wondered, does that make me a bad person?

  7. Julie I am the same way - with the driving and the receiving of RAK. I guess that's kinda contrary, but I don't think it makes us bad people, just human. Or like you said: work in progress. I like that :)

    Have a great weekend.

Post a Comment