Things have been going well for our 12 months of Kindness 2013 project - nearly over at this point and I'm already thinking about what might be in store for next year's planning.
So far this year, we have completed these planned monthly kindness activities:
January: Local EMS membership & donation
April: Donation through Oxfam America Unwrapped - Grey's birthday choice
September: Donor's Choose donation
October: [currently working on] Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF
You might be able to tell from above, that we missed doing our kindness activities for the months of February (grandparent date) and August (serving at the food kitchen). The missing events are lingering in the back of my mind and I keep telling myself that we need to try our best to get them wrapped up before the end of the year. That's the great thing about kindness - it's never too late.
The reason that we are so dedicated to our 12 months of kindness commitment and making sure that it is planned and recorded is because being kind is always meant with the best of intentions - but the truth is, life can slip into the day and derail your intentions. So unless it's marked down and scheduled - it is really easy to intend to do a monthly act of kindness (see our months for February and August for proof!) and then so quickly and easily can that intention slip away with the dirty dishes piling up and kids running around wild. That's also the bad thing about kindness - it always feels like something we can get to later.
Besides are regularly scheduled acts of monthly kindness, we always have opportunities to sprinkle kindness throughout the year too. The sort that brings fun and companionship into kindness:
April: Alumni Basketball game to benefit a local high school's mission trip to Central America
August: a huge delivery of goods to the local Humane Society for my birthday (gifts from my family&friends for donations)
September: The Gladiator Run to benefit TACA (Talk About Curing Autism)
October: Buying Jammies for other kids for The Big White Farmhouse's Pajama Drive. (Ashley's drive runs through Halloween, so there's still time to participate yourself!)
And of course, there is the everyday kindness that presents itself regularly and constantly. Like holding doors open for the person behind you, reminding the kids to generously say please and thank you, helping family in a pinch, making time for google hangouts and long catch-up phone calls with friends, biting your tongue when its just not worth the argument, choosing to update our statuses with happy and funny news rather than complaints or rants.
I am uplifted daily to find inspirational stories and amazing acts of kindness, patience, and love. I seek these out because it is the reminder that I need to keep fighting the good fight. That people are good, that people care about one another. At times, it is vital to seek these things out as other stories flood my newsfeed and television of disappointed, disenchanted, and disengaged people who can't find the good in their days. And so I seek out the grateful, enlightened, and enthusiastic stories from those that look around and see potential and kindness and are so thankful for life it brings tears to my eyes.
Each of us have the opportunity to act in kindness every single day. Each of us get to choose whether we bring light or darkness into other people's interactions and experiences with us. Whether we, ourselves, experience more light or darkness in our own days. Which are you bringing to the days of those that get to experience you?