Tag Archives: random acts of kindness

3 Things to Restore Your Faith in Humanity After the “Breaking Bad” Finale

You Deserve All Good Things... it's true!Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock you know that last night was the series finale of AMC’s mega-Emmy-winning meth lab hit “Breaking Bad.” Most likely you fit into one of two groups – the millions who have waited with baited breath in hopes that Walter White (Bryan Cranston) would redeem himself or the fewer of us who had to scroll past all the moaning in our Facebook and Twitter feeds that he never did.

Either way, the finale has been rough on all of us. But just because Walter never saw the light doesn’t mean that we should give up hope. Check out these awesome do-gooders and humanitarians that will help you remember there’s still people out there fighting the good fight, and why we should join them.

  • Though he plays a “hapless meth addict” on Breaking Bad, actor Aaron Paul (Jesse) used his notoriety and the show’s popularity to raise $1.8 million for his wife’s anti-bullying charity The Kind Campaign. Paul helped raise awareness for the charity by flying out two lucky winners to Los Angeles for last night’s finale, where they hung out with the entire cast and had a “cooking” session with Aaron himself. You can read more about it here and take it as proof that good can come out on top.
  • After years of trying different trades, a farmer’s son travels to Cambodia to see their rice farms and realizes his destiny in life. He finds peace in himself working his family’s farm, and that acceptance moves him to tears. Watch this touching video as he explains the transformation and how working the land is contributing to the larger circle of existence.

  • What would the world be like if we were all just a little bit kinder? That’s the question posed at the beginning of this video montage of random acts of kindness in 2012. It’s a few minutes long, but everything is there – from strangers buying other people’s groceries to people lending a hand during natural disasters. It’s sure to warm your heart over from all those devastated Walter feelings.

Even if you aren’t a fan of “Breaking Bad” we hope these videos help lift your mood today! If you have any videos or stories of people being good to each other share them in the comments below! 

“Giving is Communication”: This Incredible Video Will Change Your Life

The title doesn’t lie. This video offers a poignant a message on the power of service, compassion, and gratitude, told through the lens of one incredible and fleeting act of kindness.

This video was made by TrueMove-H, an arm of Thai mobile conglomerate True Corporation. The video serves as a commercial, but also doubles as a meditation on the importance of real human connection in changing people’s lives and spreading empathy to every corner of the world.

Take a look and let the video’s message go to work in your heart:

If you look at your life and how far you’ve come, there are undoubtedly faces sprinkled throughout who had an impact on you along the way. They may be teachers, parents, mentors, or friends. They may be strangers. Sometimes it’s those fleeting, half-developed conversations in passing – on the subway, in the supermarket, on an airplane – that struck you most potently and in some way influenced the course your life would take.

We invite you to reach out in gratitude to those important people who helped you become the person you are today. And for all those unnamed strangers, the briefly known, angels in disguise, send your thanks outward. Pass it on. Pay it forward. Love and service make the world go ’round. And you are part of that essential cycle.

Did this video inspire you? Who are you grateful to? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

There Are No Random Acts of Kindness

FREE HUGSI think it is a misnomer to describe acts of kindness as random.

Kindness arises with an intention to “be kind” followed by an action. While the acts may be directed toward anonymous people or animals, the person’s act of kindness is anything but random — it is deliberate and directional — non-random in nature.

I think that the non-random nature of kindness is key to its value. It reflects a conscious choice on the part of the actor, to give, to help, to share and to soothe. It seems to me that it is in the conscious choice we reveal our role in shaping our own humanity and even our evolutionary future.

The other day I saw my daughter preparing a “sack lunch” for her boyfriend who is in a rather rigorous 5 day a week 8 hour a day school program. She wrote his name on the bag — just like I used to do for her and her brothers when they were little. It was such a sweet act of kindness, and it made me think about all those sack lunches that will be prepared in the next months as the fall school season begins.

The preparation of a sack lunch for a loved one is full of kindness; it is intentional and directional. I remember writing little notes and including small “surprises” (e.g. Hershey kiss) for my kids in their lunches when they were little. A sack lunch can carry a lot of love within it.

But there are many non-random acts of kindness around us all the time. When we meet a homeless man or woman on the street, we may offer a cup of coffee, give some change, or just wish them well with a smile and hello. That is anything but random — we choose to place our attention on them and we choose how to respond — with kindness or not.

Scientists are beginning to study “kindness” and how to increase it. In a study at Stanford University, researchers delivered an 11 minute “loving kindness” exercise to students and discovered that they rated strangers as “kinder” and more similar to themselves than those not given the exercise. And in a study conducted at Duke University, researchers found that people with greater “self-compassion” (a construct composed of kindness, mindfulness and a sense that one is part of the larger human condition) were much better adept at handling social rejection and the negative emotions that stem from it.

Kindness is a valuable attribute and science is showing its benefits.

In my own experiences, I notice that kindness (when consciously generated and applied) can alter my own negative emotions. An example from last week illustrates it.

My husband and I began “running” for exercise about a year ago. We worked up from a block at a time (starting, stopping) to now running with ease 4-5 miles a day. But we don’t always run in sync with one another; sometimes I’m running faster than he and other times he runs faster than me. One morning, I was ahead of him on a trail when he caught up and our elbows hit; I thought he was trying to push me to the side to let him pass and had a bit of anger swell up; instead of reacting I thought perhaps he just wants to run in front for a while. So I decided to step back and run behind. There was a conscious intent on my part to act with kindness (instead of reacting with anger). Immediately, I felt my anger dissipate as I chose to let him run ahead, and after a mile or so, we ran next to each other in the end. It was a tiny example of cultivating kindness and acting from it instead of reacting from a negative emotion. The choice shifted my own mood from mildly irritated to happy in less than a block of running. The choice was intentional and the act deliberate, non-random in nature.

I think what we really want to practice are more non-random acts of kindness – directed to those we know and to those we don’t know – as much possible.

I am sure it will make our lives happier and the world a kinder place.


Originally published in 2010

Let’s Make Kindness A Daily Habit

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. – Dalai Lama

Every single day there’s an opportunity to show kindness. Whatever the situation – a business meeting, an encounter with a stranger or a dinner with the family – showing kindness is always an option.

The question becomes: do we choose it?

When kindness is chosen, positive things happen. Problem solving is shared, people feel respected, and the ones we love the most realize how much they are valued. While no one act of kindness can change the world, a daily commitment to performing kind actions can have positive, life-changing results for everyone involved.

Will you help make kindness a daily habit?

On Tuesday, March 1 the 31 Days of Kindness project begins. The goal of this month-long campaign is to encourage people to perform one act of kindness daily.

My life changed for the better when I adopted kindness as a daily habit. Seven years ago, my focus was on me and how I could how I could make more money and advance my career. This selfish approach pushed my children away and put my marriage on the brink of divorce.

Realizing what I was about to lose, I looked for answers. During the journey, I realized my heart was buried under so much shame that it forgot how good kindness could feel. Today, the relationships with my children are alive and Mary Beth and I are approaching our 26th wedding anniversary with sweet anticipation.

I believe in the life-changing effect kindness can have and I want to share this belief with you. This is the reason behind the 31 Days of Kindness project:
When: March 1 – 31, 2011
Where: Across the Blogosphere
Why: To encourage people to perform one act of kindness daily

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Download A Manifesto for Making Kindness a Daily Habit. This free guide has 132 ideas from 29 talented (and kind!) bloggers, including Ali Luke, Farnoosh Brock, Lori Deschene and Chris Guilebeau.
  • On March 1, please spread the word about the 31 Days of Kindness project on Twitter (use the hashtag #31kindness) and on Facebook.
  • If you are a blogger, write about the importance of kindness.
  • Encourage your readers to make kindness a daily habit, too.
  • Ask your readers to write their own posts so they can help spread the message.
  • Link to A Manifesto for Making Kindness a Daily Habit in your post.
  • Invite your readers to download the manifesto and refer to it during the 31-day campaign.
  • Include the link to this post so that readers can find all the other “kindness” posts linked to here.
  • Please don’t post your article until March 1. When you do, navigate back to this page and include the link using the Linky tool below. Be sure to put your name in the caption field after inserting your link. By doing so, your name will appear under the thumbnail of your post.

Questions? You can find me here:
Email: alex@thebridgemaker.com
Twitter: @thebridgemaker
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thebridgemaker

Feel Instantly Joyful: Scatter Happiness To Others

I wanted to thank someone who had been kind to me. So I sent a bouquet of roses to her office. When ordering, I found out that peach roses stand for appreciation, so I delighted in sending an extra, nonverbal message. I imagined what a surprise they would be, which pleased me even more.

I first started to enjoy the happiness that comes from giving to others when my friends and I published the book Random Acts of Kindness. Suddenly I was flooded with letters (this was in the dinosaur days before email) from people telling me about the joy they’d experienced as doers of these acts. I will never forget the letter from the high school senior who told me that he’d been going to kill himself until he read the book and decided that life was worth living. He inspired me to become more kind to strangers and to those I’m close to. Like the boy who didn’t kill himself, I got happier.

The reason we feel happy when we spread happiness is because we experience something I’ve never heard spoken of in Western culture. I’ve just finished reading over fifty books on happiness and only one mentions it! Buddhists call it mudita—sympathetic joy. It’s an upswelling of the heart at the happiness of someone else.

Sympathetic joy is the opposite of envy. It’s one of the reasons why giving, when it comes from a genuine feeling of overflow–wanting to bring happiness to someone else rather than from a sense that we have to–feels so good. We experience in ourselves the good feelings of the other person.        

Actually the giver gets a double whammy of happiness—anticipatory joy in thinking of how the person is going to feel, as well as the actual moment when he or she receives the gift. Sympathetic joy is such a wonderful feeling that you don’t even have to be there when the person receives the gift to feel great. That’s what’s behind random acts of kindness, for instance—just thinking about how the person is going to feel when you put a quarter in the parking meter and doesn’t get a ticket–gives you a bolt of pleasure.

You don’t have to buy elaborate gifts or spend a lot of time or effort. You can get the boost from giving to others in many ways: surprises to a relative in the form of a text message, the perfect card for a friend.

 Have you ever been with someone who, when they do you a courtesy and you offer thanks, says, “My pleasure?” It truly is a pleasure to spread kindness, even if it’s simply holding the door for someone who is struggling with a load of packages.


Join the Kindness Revolution

We’re living in the Age of Entitlement. Take, take, take. Buy, buy, buy. That’s what it frequently seems like anyway. I often wonder why people have become so focused on themselves. Isn’t it time to give back? Then I was reading a friend of mine’s blog. Jo Davidson, songwriter, pianist, journalist and more, interviewed the author of a book called 29 Gifts on Zentertainment Radio. Jo shares some of the interview:


“At age 33 Cami Walker, the author of 29 Gifts, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the life she knew changed forever. When she was going through some of her most difficult symptoms, she received an uncommon prescription from a friend, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami was amazed by what unfolded during her month-long journey.”

Now I’m curious. While I’m curious about what Cami received and can’t wait to get my hands on her book, I’m also interested in what I can give.

Some initial thoughts come to mind.  I love to cook and tend to shower my loved ones with healthy breads, baking, curries, and other concoctions I create in the kitchen.  So, food immediately comes to mind.  And then there are the obvious hugs and kind words, giving away the clothes that no longer fit, or extra furniture.  After that, it starts to become a conscious effort.  "What can I give?"

So, here’s the plan:  I want to start a Kindness Revolution.  I’m tired of all the lying, backstabbing, gossiping, and other parasitic characteristics I’ve seen in many people lately.  But, instead of getting even with all those who hurt us, why not join the Kindness Revolution?  Why not raise the bar?  Rise to the highest common denominator instead of dropping to the lowest?  I think kindness is the answer to the world’s ills.  And, I’m hoping you’ll agree.

Over the next 29 days I’m going to be blogging about my experiences as I try to do my part.  Join me, Jo, Cami, and all the others out there who are ready to be part of the solution–the Kindness Revolution. You don’t even have to spend a penny. You can give prayers, smiles, hugs, kind words, a shoulder to cry on, or donate some of your things to people who might need them. There are so many ways we can give of ourselves to transform the world. Let’s face it there are a lot of people who could use some caring and sharing right now.

Please join me in The Kindness Revolution. Isn’t it time we all learned we’re connected, we’re in this together, and that the way we treat each other really does matter? If you’re going to join me in The Kindness Revolution, please add your comments to my article below to let me know.  Let’s raise the roof with good deeds.  And, don’t forget to come back and share how giving transforms your life. I’d love to hear about it. And, I’ll let you know how it goes for me too. Hmmm. I’m not sure what I’ll give today…my husband had a 15 hour workday that was pretty difficult. He won’t be in until late tonight so I think I’ll make him a homemade pizza with a gluten-free crust tomorrow. That will be my gift to him for all his hard work and for just being a great husband and person.

Join me as I blog about my experiences, give away free books, and you can share your experiences in giving.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan and the upcoming book The Phytozyme Cure.  Learn more at: www.DrMichelleCook.com.



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