By Scott Colby
February 17th was National Random Acts of Kindness Day; however, I feel the same way about random acts of kindness as I do Mother’s Day – they should be celebrated every day.
While I try to be kind every day, I’m probably not always conscious about performing random acts of kindness. But this year, I decided to change that. My friend Lori and I decided to take four dozen roses and hand them out to strangers in downtown Denver.
It was a remarkable experience. We got lots of smiles and genuine thanks from people who happily received our roses. But other times people passed us by without making eye contact or commented “That’s just weird” and kept walking briskly without taking a rose. Even when we told them it was Random Acts of Kindness Day, they still refused. How could that be?
Unfortunately, we live in a society where trust is lacking, even from well-intentioned, kind hearted people. Apparently, anything that looks like someone is trying to sell us something we don’t needs gets rebuffed. It is interesting because on my trip to Guatemala, I had a complete opposite experience! I was met with smiles and “Buenos Dias!” every morning from complete strangers I passed on the street.
While a few looked at our efforts suspiciously; overall, our rose experiment was extremely positive; most people were grateful. We even gave away roses to kids encouraging them to give theirs away if they liked to family members or friends. It was awesome to see people holding roses that we didn’t give them and we knew our kindness acts were spreading.
So, I encourage you to give it a try. You don’t have to give out roses to strangers. Try smiling at someone. Give a stranger a compliment. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Make a care package and give it to the homeless. Buy someone a cup of coffee. The possibilities are endless.
Just know that you’re going to make someone’s day, and oh, by the way, be prepared to feel really good!