The world needs more kindness, always. BUT, I am posting about random acts of kindness today because it is on the calendar as a day to celebrate and remind ourselves that simple acts should be practiced regularly.
There have been a few times in my life where I didn't step up to the plate and the regret took a long time to fade. One example comes from our time in Australia. Parker was a few weeks old and we took a trip to a shopping mall - which, by the way, reminds me that in Australia they have amazing parent centers in every shopping mall or center with rows of changing tables (not the fold down kind, but actual counters designed for baby changing) and rows of nursing stations with comfortable chairs and privacy curtains. Anyway, we were in one of those rooms and so was another young dad with his new baby. The baby was crying/screaming and he didn't know what to do. He changed her diaper, held her, patted her back, but ultimately he knew she was hungry. He called the mother, who was getting her hair done and wanted to "let him know what it feels like to be on his own". I nursed Parker, Tyler changed him, and off we went.
Why didn't we simply say hello, offer suggestions, or walk with him to find a store with formula? Why didn't we stay with him while he waited for the mother to return? Why didn't I do anything? But maybe I needed that moment to stay in my mind as an example, so that every other time I am in a similar situation, I know that my discomfort should come second, kindness should always come first.
Last weekend, we were out and about with the kids and we walked by a woman trying to put a boy (larger than herself) into his wheelchair. He was fighting against her and the wheelchair rolled away. I didn't hesitate to offer help, and held the chair steady as she put him in and buckled his seatbelt. It took one minute of my time and she was thankful.
As we walked away, both Parker and Matilda had questions of why I did that, and my response was that she needed help and I wanted to offer my kindness. Random acts of kindness can be anything; a smile to a stranger, a hug to a friend, an offer to watch someone's kids so that they can go on a proper date, or even something a bit more planned.
For Random Acts of Kindness Day, I was thrilled to partner with Oriental Trading Company for this fun idea that you and your kids can do together. First, we ordered this bag of musical instruments as well as these yo yo's from Oriental Trading Co. Next, I fell in love with this "Love Not Hate Makes America Great" poster that my Instagram friend Bar of Art Bar Blog created. I downloaded her print and printed some out on sticker paper and some on card stock.
Then, I either stuck a sticker onto a paper bag and filled it with goodies or I punched a hole and tied a goodie on with yarn. Last, the kids and I walked around our town delivering small random acts of kindness to those in our neighborhood. The hope, of course, is to simply spread kindness, one act at a time.
This post was created in partnership with Oriental Trading Company, but all opinions are my own.