For the last 4 hours, you’ve been binge watching your new favorite TV show. Your favorite character is having a rotten day. You’ve developed a close emotional connection with her because you share similar passions and can relate to her struggle. She’s sitting at a diner alone on Valentine’s day, sulking in her sadness because she just suffered a traumatic series of unfortunate events.
Have you ever wanted to jump in the screen and do something? I know there isn’t much that I can do to make up for what she has been going through in her life, however, I wanted to give her a hug. Or maybe I would sit with her in silence and let her feel her emotions while letting her know she isn’t alone. Maybe I would write her a note and let her know she deserves to be happy. I wanted to do all this for a fictional character… Then it dawned on me, what if I could do this to someone in reality.
A few weeks ago, my friends and I participated in Questival, Cotpaxi’s 24 hour adventure race. Questival gives you a series of scavenger hunt like challenges ranging from ‘camping under the stars’ to ‘community service’, while exploring the city you live in and doing good with your friends. My favorite series of challenges were the Random Acts of Kindness to strangers.
A few of the challenges we completed:
- Politely serenade a stranger while playing ukulele.
- Give flowers to a stranger.
- Do something nice for a tourist/visitor out enjoying the city, make their day really special.
- Find an awesome stranger who you think would be down for a trust fall. Then.. hold a trust fall.
- Hold a door open, sincerely compliment them as they come through the door.
- Hug a stranger for 15 seconds.
- Perform another random act of kindness of your choice.
All of these acts made us feel great. We had the choice to create our own random act of kindness. My thoughts immediately turned to the diner scene in my new favorite show. I wanted to help my favorite fictional character, and here’s my opportunity to act in reality. We ate a local diner and our waitress was wonderful. I decided to write her a thank you note writing in detail that her smile, enthusiasm for life and to express I am incredibly thankful that she is here. She made a positive impact on my life.
Dr. David Hamilton explains from his research that a single random act of kindness creates a ripple effect that spreads far and wide, up to 3-degrees of separation.
Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, so acts of kindness ripple outwards touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.
A random act of kindness can occur anytime, anywhere. Have you ever experienced a stranger doing something nice for you and it made you smile? Join me in this scene. You are eating at a diner. Typically, you eat your meal, maybe joined with others, then pay and leave. What can you do in the diner to create a ripple effect of kindness? There are infinite possibilities on how you can create a positive change by taking a single moment of courage to do something nice for a stranger.
I challenge you to create your random own act of kindness. Share with me your story!