It’s my birthday week and I’m so excited. I love birthdays. Well I love all celebrations, but birthdays especially. It is a time to appreciate the birth of the person and all that they have brought to your world. It is a time to reflect; to appreciate the past for what it was, a series of lessons and opportunities for growth; a time to celebrate the present; and a time to feel energized about the future. This year I will be celebrating my birthday in an extra special way and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Later this week I will be doing 37 Random Acts of Kindness, also know as RAK. Now I do RAK’s all the time, but never 37 in one day. Yes, I am turning 37. Damn I’m gettin’ old. I started doing RAK’s earlier this year after I saw Michael Chase, founder of the Kindness Center, speak at a conference. His story about how a small choice he made to buy the person’s coffee behind him at the drive through completely changed his life. I was so inspired I started doing RAK’s every chance I had.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to brag about what I am doing? Nope! Because I want my inbox flooded with birthday wishes? Think Again! Because I am hoping it will inspire you to do your own RAK’s? Ding Ding Ding! You betcha! You see, RAK’ing is awesome. It keeps you grounded, it helps you stop, breathe and take a moment to appreciate life, it centers you, and it is most certainly contagious. Research shows that tiny acts of kindness ripple exponentially across social experiences – essentially sparking a contagiousness of generosity and cooperativeness. Simple stated, a single kind act influences dozens more. So let’s take action and it just might inspire others to do the same.

There are a ton of resources and inspiring stories of RAK’s out there on the web. I will list a few including a few of my favorite simple RAK’s that I do because they are quick and easy to incorporate in my often very busy day. It is about being present in the moment to take notice of how to give back to others. Sometimes it is as easy as a smile or cracking a joke to someone who looks like they need it. Other times it is a bit more extensive. But we all can do something!

Easy RAK’s you can do today (some of these you can do anonymously if you want):[list_1]

  • Pay the tab for the person behind you at the drive through, movie theater, or grocery store.
  • Write inspiring handwritten notes and leave it for someone on their car or in a public place.
  • Tape change on a vending machine
  • Leave a lottery scratcher on someone’s car or give it to a person when you are walking out of a store.
  • Send a thinking of you note to someone who matters to you.
  • Smile. It’s easy, free, and guaranteed to brighten someone’s day.
  • Have food delivered to your local school such as a pizza or sandwiches sent to the office staff or a student.
  • Bring someone cupcakes or cookies. Bonus points if they are vegan! Ha Ha jk!
  • Offer to  help with your neighbor with their yard work.
  • Let someone go in front of you in line
  • Buy a drink for a stranger at the bar without taking credit.
  • Hold the door open for people, smile at them and wish them good day.
  • Go through your text messages. Rekindle a conversation with someone in the oldest messages.
  • Leave a book or magazine behind on public transportation or public location.
  • Tip extra generously.
  • Help someone whose car is broken down (ladies – follow safety precautions)
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  • Return a bunch of shopping carts.
  • Write a letter or thank you card to someone who made a difference in your life.
  • Help the elderly in any way that you can.
  • Send flowers or balloons to someone.
  • Help someone load their groceries
  • Donate blood.

[/list_1]

What are some of your Random Acts of Kindness Ideas? We would love to hear them!

Resources:

Helpothers.org http://www.helpothers.org/ – Great ideas, you can post your stories, and printables. They will also send you printed smile cards for free to include with your RAK.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ – they have a ton of ideas and cute printables. They even have lesson plans for kids and printable calendars with ideas for every day. Awesome resource.

The World Needs More Love Letters http://www.moreloveletters.com/ – A website where they write and mail love letters, handwritten love letters, to strangers in need all over the world. You can request a love letter for someone in your life who needs one and volunteer to write letters for others.

The Kindness Center http://www.thekindnesscenter.com/ – various events around the country to get involved with. You can also check out Michael’s book and view his speaking tour dates.

Action For Happiness http://www.actionforhappiness.org/ – more inspiration with groups and events.

Really pretty RAK cards that you can print 

Random Acts of Christmas Kindness Advent Calendar – ideas

25 Days of Christmas RAK’s  – printables and ideas

366 Random Acts of Kindness – follows one person’s journey to do a new RAK everyday in 2012.

Random Acts of (Crafty) Kindness – more ideas

If I have inspired you to do even just one RAK, I would love to hear it. Post in the comments below! Share this post to help inspire others! Happy RAK’ing!

“Be the Change You Wish to See in the World.” ~ Gandhi