RbdRandom acts of kindness (RAK or RAoK) is a concept I adopted eons ago—when I was still in college. Since, for me, RAKs are an ongoing theme, I neither immediately included the idea in my Happiness Project roadmap nor in my action steps.
I did envision mentioning the idea—as well as making it a theme—toward the end of my Happiness Project. Nonetheless, the whole notion has been in the forefront of my mind since the beginning of this project. I think of random acts of kindness almost—if not—daily.
Random Acts of Kindness make me very happy because they bless others. I wholeheartedly believe in the truism: it is more blessed to give than to receive.
WARNING: before proceeding with this post, be admonished that RAK are highly addictive.
Random Acts of Kindness: The Concept
According to Wikipedia, the wording, as well as the concept, are credited to Anne Herbert of Sausalito, California. In 1982, she wrote on a placemat the phrase “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” An idea based on the following saying “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty.”
I have seen the definition of random acts of kindness stated thus: unpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world.
As a veteran RAKtivist (yes, that’s a word), I don’t entirely agree with this definition (found on Wikipedia). I consider it too short-sided.
The proper definition of the word random is “without definite aim, direction, rule, or method. It doesn’t imply a lack of forethought” while the definition of unpremeditated is “not characterized by willful intent and forethought; not planned in advance; not premeditated”
You can get up in the morning and decide that you intend to do X as a RAK. From the point of decision to implementation, your RAK is technically no longer an unpremeditated act. However, it can still be random.
My preferred definition is thus: a selfless act – either spontaneous or planned in advance – performed by anyone to either help or cheer up a random stranger, for no reason other than to make people happier.
Random Acts of Kindness: Ideas
When I decided to write this post, I honestly struggled with the prospect of sharing some of my random acts of kindness. I have never done them for public recognition, and as a matter of fact, I much prefer anonymity. My only reason for divulging my RAK would be to share in my joy at the unexpected (in a good way) turn of events. As I write this, I am still quite unsure about my future course of action for the rest of this post. Nevertheless, allow me proceed.
Free Random Acts of Kindness
Other Random Acts of Kindness
Additional resources about Random Acts of Kindness: