Random Acts of Kindness Week
I am hereby instituting a new holiday called "Random Acts of Kindness Week" It will be celebrated every year from September 21st until September 28th. During this time, everybody is encouraged to practice random acts of kindness to his fellow human beings. It is not limited to people you know, in fact, practicing random acts of kindness to a total stranger would better fit the definition of "random". If you've ever seen the movie "Pay It Forward" then you're on track. And while you can do things that are above and beyond, it is not necessary for the desired effect.
During this week there are to be no savage or unkind acts done towards others. On the other side of the coin, it is the week where you randomly let the person behind you in line to go first. Or pay for that person's espresso at Starbucks. Imagine the smile on the face of the elderly person you carried those bags for. Naturally, kindness does not have to take on the form of money or gifts though you can contribute monetarily just as long as this is not the only way you practice random acts of kindness. It must come from the heart more than it comes from the pocket. Compliments given, if sincere, can work magic in brightening somebody's day. Saying hello to somebody you usually don't and listening to what they have to say, can be quite therapeutic.
The end goal is to have a society who now knows that kindness is possible and that a special occasion or holiday is not needed to elicit such behavior. My first idea of this was when I went for a walk by myself early on a Christmas morning. In Los Angeles the streets are not covered in snow this time of the year, as it might be almost anywhere else in the United States. But there was one thing that really stood out and that was: the atmosphere had an indescribable calm to it. It was as if you could feel that everybody decided to lay aside their problems and difficulties for that day and the effect was nearly tangible. People exercise such kindness on a broad scale but that is usually reserved for holidays or special occasions. The idea of this week is that it is not during a major holiday and so the main focus is being kind towards your fellow man. The dates chosen are based on my sister's birthday and nothing more.
Eventually "Random Acts of Kindness Week" will become "Random Acts of Kindness Month" and soon after that it will cease to be celebrated annually but will become a daily affair. Also, you will get in return a feeling of good for the good you put out in the world. What goes around comes around. Let's just hope that what is going around is pro-survival. And that is in your hands now, isn't it?
Have fun with this and let me know how it goes for you and what it did for the people around you. Oh, and spread the word! This is not an official holiday... yet.