Paying It Forward…. Random Acts of Kindness

Princess Diana Quote

When I started this blog, I wanted to discuss more than just Design. I needed to speak about what is important to me. After being where I have been, see (Be Still My Beating Heart….), it’s hard not to be continually floored by how kind and generous people can be. Random people. Everyday people. Yes, we all complain about “those people”, the ones who bother us, drive us crazy, or even those we are just a little bit jealous of. But in reality, there are so many just great people out there. When do we celebrate them? If your life is touched  by a few of them, you are blessed.

And I don’t come at this from a religious or spiritual position. It’s just life. Think about it.

The other day Brian was in the grocery store with the kids, he overheard a woman behind him getting some unexpected bad news on a call. After the call, he asked her ‘How is your day?” When she replied “Horrible!”, he gave the cashier extra money and paid for her groceries, and left, never waiting for an acknowledgment or thanks. How did I hear about it? Sophie told me. So happy she watched, and learned this lesson.

Big or small, you remember these moments. When in the Cardiac ICU, I will never forget the nurse Nancy, who mothered me, and let me grip her hand until it was white, who looked after my parents, calmed my fears.  Now this wasn’t a random act of kindness, you many say it was her job, but she truly cared about me and my family’s well-being. It was much more.

Last night at the Blossom Music Center for the Pixar Concert by the Cleveland Orchestra (which was fabulous by the way…) we had lawn seats and a picnic to celebrate Sophie’s 8th Birthday. While we chatted with the couples wining and dining next to us, the sky opened up and thunder and lighting ensued. Sophie, who still has fear of storms, was not pleased. The couple handed us their four pavilion tickets and said “Happy Birthday” and continued on with their party in the elements, while we enjoyed the sounds of the orchestra in the comfort of the amphitheater.

Friends, and teachers, and mentors, and work associates all influence us with kindness. We all have people we respect in our circles. But think of the randomness. Think of the souls that we are all connected too in some way. I do believe that things all happen for a reason. Good or bad, large or small. Just think about it this week, and take the time to do something a little uncomfortable, a little unexpected, a little kind. But most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself….that’s the hardest part!

What unexpected acts of kindness have you experienced in your life?

  • Holly September 4, 2013, 5:54 AM

    Great blog, dawn! I am a firm believer in paying it forward!!

  • Stacy Hartzler September 4, 2013, 6:24 AM

    The Cook family – you are more than random acts of kindness – it is not random – it is a way in which you choose to live your life – you may not recall how he reached out to help us when we first moved here, but we will never forget it — ““Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi

  • Michelle September 4, 2013, 9:55 AM

    What a wonderful message! I am also a firm believer in paying it forward and I am always pleasantly surprised when someone else pays it forward for me! We both have our miracle stories and I’m grateful for the gift of life.

  • Bonnie Caesar September 5, 2013, 8:00 AM

    Dawn – I really enjoyed reading this, as well as “Be Still My Beating Heart” – I had no idea; so happy you are well! For my birthday last year, instead of a gift from my husband, I told him that I wanted to take whatever he would have spent and perform random acts of kindness all day on my birthday. It ranged from secretly treating an elderly man dining alone to his breakfast, taking Subway to the officers on duty at the police station, to handing a grocery gift card that I purchased on the spot to a woman standing behind me in line holding a gallon of milk & counting the change in her hand. It was my best birthday EVER. And P.S. – you DO look like that photo of the lady in red on your “Heart” post! Love to you – Bonnie

  • Dawn September 5, 2013, 10:16 AM

    Bonnie – good for you and thank you for your comments! It’s so nice to hear from you and also your good deed. My daughter Sophie started a jar of “good deeds” for the family to fill up and after we do we get to Ben and Jerry’s! I have loved the response to this post. People all over have mentioned to me. It goes to show how good hearted most of us are. Also, those that have posted above have been where I have, so they recognize where I am coming from on this! Thanks for following and stay in touch!

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