31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness

I have the most brilliant, selfless, good looking friends in the entire world. That may sound like a bit of hyperbole, but I assure you it's not. I am one lucky woman in that I'm surrounded by some of the most awesome people you can imagine. They also come up with the best ideas you can imagine. Frankly, they set the bar really high for me to always be the best version of myself and that's why I love them.

31 Days of Random Acts of Kindness is proof positive of that. Let's be clear: this is not my idea. All the credit goes to my incredible friend Stacy (who also has beautiful hair that I'm very jealous of, by the way). This is 100% her idea and I love it. I'm joining her in spreading love and kindness this month because the holidays aren't just about giving gifts to those you love and love you back. They're about spreading kindness to those who aren't expecting it and may need it more than we do.

Stacy came up with idea as a result of counting her own blessings in the month of November and decided the best way she could express her gratitude for all the riches in her life would be to share kindness with others. You can read the whole story on her blog and then follow her blog. Trust me. At the end, she asks for others to join her and created the #31RAOK hashtag for Facebook and Twitter. When you perform a Random Act of Kindness this month, post it on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag. Let's make Stacy's idea go viral and spread kindness around the world this month.

When you're thinking about your Random Acts of Kindness, you might consider the following:

  • Who do you know who's suffering from a loss (e.g., divorce, death, break-up, job loss)and could you a pick-me-up?
  • Do you have elderly neighbors who could use your help?
  • When was the last time you bought a copy of Streetwise and let the seller keep the change from a $10 or $20?
  • Could you do something anonymously for your coworkers that would brighten their day?
  • Do you have a friend struggling to make ends meet because he is one of the long-term unemployed?
  • Do you have something that you can't use that others would love? (Hint: Look for a giveaway here on Monday, December 2nd).
  • When was the last time you wrote a letter, by hand? (No, holiday cards don't count).
  • Is there a teacher who impacted you or helped save you from yourself? Can you contact them to say thank you?
  • Do you live near enough to your parents, grandparents, siblings, that you could just show up at their house for no other reason than to say I love you and give them a hug and a kiss?
  • Have you ever written and thanked a member of the military for their service and sacrifice? Get on this because cards must be received by the Red Cross by December 6th.
  • Have you ever donated to your alma mater? You don't have to give a lot to make a great impact and you'll get a tax write off.
  • Have you passed out lunches to homeless people? A social media friend and his wife celebrated Thanksgiving by preparing dozens of meals in their kitchen and then distributing them in plastic containers (with utensils and bottles of water) to homeless people. What an incredible tradition.
  • Do you live in a condo building? What could you do for the neighbors on your floor to wish them good tidings?

To avoid missing days, you might want to plan out a week at a time. I did a little of this last night. I planned out most of this week and parts of the rest of December. The holidays are a busy time and I don't want anything to slip through the cracks.

Random Acts of Kindness don't have to cost anything. They simply have to be you spreading good cheer to those you meet in daily life.

Will you join Stacy and me in our quest to spread joy with #31RAOK? Leave a comment. I'll be talking about this a lot on LMS this month. I'd love to see Stacy's idea go viral.

Oh, what's my #31RAOK for today? It's taking up the call and sharing Stacy's idea with all of you.

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    Jessica Gardner

    A native of Chicago's Northwest Suburbs and resident of the North Shore, Little Merry Sunshine comes by her name honestly. The story goes that as a child, she was always so happy that she even slept with a smile on her face. Her mom nicknamed her Little Merry Sunshine. It stuck, along with her insatiable desire to focus on the good in the world and to leave it a little better than she found it. She does this by sharing her passions and dreams, what inspires her, and maybe you too, and furthering the discussion about how we can listen to our better angels. You can reach her at LittleMerrySunshineCN[at]WowWay[dot]com.

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