In a me-driven world in which we live, random acts of kindness (RAOK) are quickly becoming scarce. So what is RAOK? RAOK is an acronym for Random Acts of Kindness. In a world filled with wondrous technological advances that allow a person more free time we seem to have less of it. Why? Where does the time go? Is this a time-management issue or something more sinister? Could it be that the said technological advances have made people less sensitive to others and more narcissistic in nature? Plugging in to the internet allows instant gratification to the seeker. Instant messaging is quickly replacing email. Tweeting… well, let’s not go there given how it caused one Congressman to lose his job, but you get the picture. People are too busy texting their BFF’s to notice the guy on the corner who desperately needs a few bucks so he can have a meal. In all likelihood, a picture of that man would be sent circulating over social media sites with some sarcastic and unflattering statement. If that man died from starvation would anyone notice or care? Many would not think it is their problem. Though, through unfortunate circumstances that person could one day be you. In the blink of an eye, your life can dramatically change. There are simply no guarantees in life.
Several churches in Niles, Ohio have programs where they reach out and meet the needs of the community such as lawn maintenance. This is done with zero expectations or payment for services. Many of these churches also feed the homeless and offer shelter. This is also done without any expectations. But do you have to be funded by a church just to do a RAOK? No. You can make a change in someone’s life today starting with a simple gesture; a smile, perhaps. Hold the door open for a harried mother or father. You can let someone in the lane ahead of you while driving. It is also okay if you let them pass you. Let a person in line in front of you wherever you are. It does not have to be a program. It is random. It is an act and it is kind. It is simple. Put down the smartphone or kindle and give it a try! In the end, you might just make your day, too. So, get your RAOK on!
“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” – Winnie the Pooh