This I Believe

Taylor - Heber, Utah
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Random Acts of Kindness

When was the last time you held the door open for someone else? When you performed acts without being asked to? When you helped the elderly or weak? When was the last time you performed a random act of kindness?

I’ve seen many a time when a simple and random act of kindness affected all those around. The power of kindness is perhaps one of the greatest things on this planet. From simple things, such as saying “please” and “thank you”, to more larger acts, like aiding a neighbor in putting up the annual Christmas lights, random acts of kindness can spread joy and gratitude through the hearts of many.

You may have heard that the words “thank” and “you” can be two of the strongest words in mankind’s vocabulary when placed together to form a phrase that can be spoken anywhere, any time, and to anyone. This is absolutely true. A simple “thank you” — when said at the right time, at the right place, and in the right tone of voice – can affect those targeted in ways that, in turn, can lead to their own performance of a random act of kindness. And that too can result in more acts kindness, until many people, not just one or two, are touched.

I remember, not too long ago, a time when a simple act of kindness that I did caused another act. It was lunchtime, and my mom, sister, and I were heading into the local Arby’s. An elderly couple were standing beside their car nearby. The husband carried a cane with which he supported himself. The couple realized they needed something from inside, and the wife – not being handicapped like her spouse – prepared to go into the restaurant. As we neared the entrance, so did she. I politely pulled the door open and held it for her to pass through. She muttered her thanks and disappeared inside. As my mom and sister moved to enter, the husband – still standing by their vehicle – saw my act of kindness toward his wife and commented to my mother, “Great kids.” He was glad that I had not only shown respect to his spouse, but had done an act of kindness at the same time.

If everyone, everywhere on this big blue planet we call Earth, performed random acts of kindness just once a day, the world truly would be a far better place. Though random acts of kindness can’t stop everything, like wars, they can spread peace through areas where they are performed.

So, take the time to do something nice for someone. Who knows, maybe one day that person you were kind and courteous to could change the world as we know it because of your small, simple, and random act of kindness.