kindness & karma week: bringing it back to reality

April 28, 2010



yesterday was about karma on the interwebs. today is about... dun dun dun... making changes in real life.

this phase of the challenge is much harder for me, personally.  i hate talking to people- especially strangers.  but i don't think it's fair to try to feel good about my own life and enrich the lives of people i meet online without at least attempting to spread the joy to, you know, actuality.

in high school there was a club, the random act of kindness club.  i never joined because i thought everyone at school hated me, and mostly they did, but what an amazing concept.  and then when i was researching for this week's posts i came across this website: Operation Beautiful.  it's all about leaving anonymous post it notes in public areas with supportive, beautiful messages on them out there to boost a stranger.  this is the kind of daily goodness i can get behind.

on my life list one of my items was to buy the coffee for the person behind me in line at starbucks.  and i did, it felt awesome.  the cashier told me that some days when a chain of those drink-buying do-gooders gets started sometimes it can last all afternoon.  how cool is that?  but whose budget can really afford to do that very often?  certainly not mine.  i've also been on the receiving end- one day more than a year ago i was in line at the drive through, about to spend my very last five dollar bill on ridiculous coffee that i just couldn't resist.  my day was sucking and i needed my fix.  and the guy in front of me bought mine, and just... drove away.  my day was 10,000% better because of someone else's kindness.

my friend that damned junket left this comment on monday's introductory post and it really fits today's theme.  i want to share it with you (hope that's ok, junks):

Wanna hear something weird? Right before I read this post I was at the drive thru getting some lunch. (Shut it.) There was a homeless man standing outside the car in front of me and smiling at him. It was a little unnerving because he didn't look like a well individual. He followed the car the whole time as it moved through the line. Everyone around was staring at him. Then, as the car left the drive thru, it pulled off to the side and out came a hand with a bag of food in it. He gave it to the man. This was clearly not the first time he has done this. The look on that man's face wasn't because he was being creepy. He knew that he was about to get a chance to eat. Something he may not have done in days for all I knew. It broke my heart. Then, I came home and read your post and I felt it. I really felt your words.

there are things we can do that take very little effort, investment, or money from us and those tiny things that seems so insignificant can turn someone else's life around.  it doesn't have to be a grand gesture.  common everyday politeness can make the world a brighter place.  hold the door for someone.  SMILE at a stranger (but not creepily, please).  give up your place in line to a mom with her hands full.  help an old guy with his bag.  this is common sense stuff.  but when you're having the worst day ever and you're on the verge of tears that little smiling helping hand can bring the comfort back in.  to know that not everyone out there in the world is an asshole out to get you.  it doesn't take much.

as the theme of the week seems to be, we're all beating the same path together

challenge of the day- do something kind for a stranger.  it can be something easy.  and share your ideas and stories about it here.  i'm bad with public anything.  inspire me, i know you can do it.

those checking in yesterday:
The Accidental Olympian: Kindness & Karma week: Family edition
Ashley's mom is an inspiration!
Hand Pecked: Kindness & Karma week
(in light of yesterday's blogging love post, i think she needs some extra)
and rendermemama and couplemorehours checked in with me on twitter about remembering what's important- assembling IKEA and packing stress be damned.


tomorrow: keeping life in perspective
and don't forget about the big finale friday- the kindness & karma contest.
i'm going to be giving away another hand made surprise.

.

10 comments:

hand pecked debb

Not sure if I encountered a panhandler/or he was for real needing $1.80. But dude got 2 bucks. That's equivalent of change i can collect from my messy car but I like to secretly believe I made his day rather than question what in tarnation he's going to use it for.

Ashley, the Accidental Olympian

(sigh) Junkets comment just brought me to tears.

I fucking love this week you have no idea how good it's been to me.

Josey

Hm...this will be a tough one for me because I live in a town of under 1,000 people and know everyone :) I'll work on it though!

Mickey D.

This is small compared to the very thoughtful person who bought a homeless man some food, but yesterday I went to a little sandwich restaurant. As I was walking in the door, a man was walking out. He says, "Hi there, great timing!" (as he holds the door open for me). Then he proceeds to tell me to have a nice lunch and enjoy my afternoon. He said it in such a genuine tone that I couldn't help but smile.

He didn't do much of anything but acknowledge me and be friendly to me. It was very pleasant. And I appreciated it. Sometimes that's all it takes.

allie

Man, Jamie. Kindness and Karma Week is really rocking my days. I love this, you have no idea.

Really gets me thinking about a ton of things I have trouble remembering on my own.

Love, love, love.

Melodie

I'm loving this and I totally wanted to participate but it looks like I can't squeeze something in for you! Ack! Anyway, I just wanted you to know because I left a comment a few days saying I was in, but I just can't do it. Very sad. :(

jenn

I'm always amazed at what simple gratitude will do for your spirit - both accepting it, and giving it. I'm going to try to say "thank you" to the people who make my coffee drinks, give me room in traffic, and open the door for me. I'm hoping that my gratitude will then spread to doing those things for me... Let's hope!

jenn

oops. for others, I meant...

wrestling kitties

ok, Junket's story made me cry. That is something so simple and SO kind. We really need more people like this in the world. We totally forget that gestures of kindness do not have to be big at all to us because chances are they are big to the people we show them to.

One time in college T & I went to Friendly's very late at night and our waitress had the most annoying group of college students around and they were totally drunk. You could tell she was frustrated and tired and she kept apologizing to us as they were taking up her time. You could just see it in her eyes she was tired and wanted to go home. Our bill was like $16 but T & I left her a $24 tip because we knew she wouldn't get much from those assholes and we hoped it would make her happy. We didn't stay to see her reaction, but it felt so good to do that!

Start small too if you don't have the money. I am NOT outgoing at all, but I have this spot in my heart for the elderly. A week ago I was at the store after work and this elderly lady walked by and I smiled at her. She smiled back and told me how nice it was to see a smiling face. We then talked for a few minutes about the weather and whatever she wanted to talk about. It was very nice.

A smile is SUCH a big thing!

Betsy B. Honest

I'm all for kindness and karma. Once at a grocery store I found myself without my wallet at the checkout and near tears because I had to rush to daycare to pick up my kid and blah blah blah. The guy behind me bought my groceries for me. He said he'd been there and I should pay it forward. But I haven't yet.

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