| February 26th, 2007

Random Act of Kindness

It was a busy Monday morning in New York City Penn Station. People were walking fast; some were running, everyone was trying to catch the train to get to work.
New York City Penn Station, Source: virtual TouristI was waiting for the Number 2 train. Lots of people were around me. Some looked stressed, some were looking at their watches, some were fidgeting, and some were reading the paper and a few kept leaning over to see if the train was coming.

The platform was full of people and finally the train came. As I stepped into the train, people started pushing me from the back and I almost fell over. The train was packed. There was no empty seat left and everyone was standing almost on top of each other. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. The train stopped at 42nd street – Time Square. I realized that an old woman in her late 80’s was slowly trying to get on the train. She had a bag on one hand and a cane on the other. People behind her pushed her in. I was afraid that she might fall. She was shaking a bit and trying to find a way to hold on as the train started to take off. She managed to hold on to the bar. As I was standing and watching her, I realized that no one sitting got up to offer her a seat. At that moment I thought to myself, what had happened to us? Were we that busy and self-centered that we forgot to be kind, generous and caring? What had happened to our world? What kind of example were we setting up for ourselves and our future generations?

I will start this valuable character lesson by defining what a random act of kindness is: “When we go beyond duties that are expected of us and reach out to help another person or group of people, we are performing a Random Acts of Kindness. Kindness and empathy are very closely related: kindness is the observable expression of empathy. We sense another person’s need, we understand how it feels to be in need (due to our own past experience), and we decide to offer our help.” (Source of definition: the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation)

Kindness works the same way as integrity does. Do it even though no one is watching. Here are some random acts of kindness we can all do to make the world a better place:

 • Open the door for another person.
 • Smile. Share a smile with family members, co-workers, and even strangers. A smile is a great way to boost someone’s day.
 • Pick up a piece of trash you see on the ground.
 • Tip your restaurant server generously.
 • Give at least one compliment to somebody every day.
This is what our world needs today – positive energy and balance to get this earth and her inhabitants back on track. We need love, respect, morals and random acts of kindness to chase away our storms and warm the hearts of many in need including ourselves. We all become accustomed to our routines, and it’s difficult to force changes on those routines. But tomorrow when you wake up and you are going about your day; remember to practice random acts of kindness to all around you. I know I will.


4 Responses to “Random Act of Kindness”

  1. Shahnaz says:

    Even with a hectic and demanding lifestyle – we have countless stories to share at the Adhunika family, where we observe people pour their support and kindness when we least expect. Today I want to share one such story with you – last year when we were organizing a fundraising event for Adhunika’s ‘IT for Women Project’ in NYC, our dedicated and regular volunteers reached out to help organize the event. On the day of the event we desperately needed few more people to greet the guests and manage few other things, I took refuge in the network of friends of a friend and sent emails to people to see if they would be able to come and help. Three new faces showed up at the event to help, and throughout the event their presence made the evening a memorable one.

    That evening I realized our family has gained three new members who are going to be there for many years to come. So, thank you Selina for showing up that evening in such a short notice; random act of kindness surely does warm the heart!

  2. Ishret says:

    Thanks for a nice article Selina!

    Kindness is one of the core values that we learn at very early age. Children learn more from what they observe than what they are told, they are great followers. As parents we have the responsibility of sowing the seeds of kindness in the heart of our children. It can start with greeting, hugs, sharing toys with others, giving away older toys, books, etc. I learned from one of my co-workers who has 4 children that each of his children has to donate an existing toy in order to get a new toy (only when it is time for new toys of course). We all donate old toys and clothes for charity but our children may or may not be aware of this. I guess we can make a difference by involving them in the process.

    – Ishret

  3. Phantom says:

    Here is a story for all to read, think and if possible to practise:-
    One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry.

    He decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door.

    Instead of a meal he asked for a drink of water! She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large glass of milk. He drank it so slowly, and then asked, How much do I owe you?”

    You don’t owe me anything,” she replied. “Mother has taught us never to accept pay for a kindness.”

    He said … “Then I thank you from my heart.”

    As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.

    Many year’s later that same young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.

    Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town she came from, a strange light filled his eyes.

    Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room.

    Dressed in his doctor’s gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once.
    He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to her case.

    After a long struggle, the battle was won.

    Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally she looked, and something caught her attention on the side of the bill. She read these words ..

    “Paid in full with one glass of milk”

    (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.

    Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: “Thank You, God, that Your love has spread broad through human hearts and hands.”

    There’s a saying which goes something like this: Bread cast on the waters comes back to you. The good deed you do today may benefit you or someone you love at the least expected time. If you never see the deed again at least you will have made the world a better place – And, after all, isn’t that what life is all about?

  4. Sharmin Islam says:

    All these stories are really heart warming. Thanks for sharing them with all the readers. They have indeed warmed my heart and they make me want to be a better and more compassionate person. We all need a gentle reminder now and then to go beyond our day-to-day duties and responsibilities and give more from our heart. As someone mentioned above, a simple smile, greeting or even complimenting someone for something that meant something to you, is a wonderful and yet very simple way to contribute towards a random act of kindness. I once read a great quote from Richard Dehnal, “A little kindness from person to person is better than vast love for all mankind”. I believe that is very true.

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Adhunika blog is launched with a mission to share knowledge among women from every walk of life. Sometime it would be in the form of sharing experience to find a feasible solution of a problem; sometime it would be in the form of professional consultation, which Adhunika group will arrange for its bloggers. Nevertheless, the intent of this blog always remains the same - to help and empower women through a common web-based platform....read more



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