Friday, January 30, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness a.k.a "a little happy"

Have you ever done something for someone or gave them a little gift for no reason at all? Isn't it one of the best feelings ever? I think so.

In the fall I decided that I would do something for someone every now and then without any reason or hope for reward other than the joy of knowing that I made someone smile. Or, at the very least TRIED to make someone smile. Let's be realistic here and remember that some people just aren't the bubbly, happy type. And that's fine - we'll get to them later. First, we'll focus on the people I really do think would appreciate or enjoy "a little happy".

I began by sending my cousin in South Carolina a pair of earrings that she had commented on. She didn't say she wanted them. She didn't ask if she could have them. She didn't mention that if I didn't want them that she'd like them. She simply said they were cute. So I sent them to her. I did it for no reason other than the fact that I knew she liked them and that it would probably make her smile to see a package in her mailbox. A package from a cousin that she always got along with but never really knew well until our adult years and the advent of Facebook. Even though we lived in the same town for our entire childhood we were friendly but never really close. She's a year younger than I am so we didn't have any classes together and my particular branch of the family tree wasn't really as social with each other as hers was. Point is, there was never any reason for her to expect anything and so it was a complete surprise which she enjoyed and which was exactly what I was hoping for. Goal accomplished.

But wait, there's more. It didn't end there. I got a message from her as well as a card thanking me and telling me how happy she was. Knowing that it had made her that happy made me even more glad that I had done it. Then, when I had pretty much forgotten about it I passed by her mother early one Saturday morning and after we had smiled and said our hellos, she called me back. She told me how sweet it was that I had sent her the earrings and how the name I had given them (I name all of my jewelry) had invoked this childhood memory of her and her grandfather. She and her mom talked about that and enjoyed the memory together. I was astounded. Not only did I accomplish my goal of surprising her and making her smile but I had also set off another chain and spread "a little happy" to her mom as well.

I know that this was probably the exception and not the rule but, "Wow!" What a motivator to keep going. I had hoped for the great feeling of doing something nice for someone, I hadn't counted on how it would come back and hit me like a wall. Amazing.

Since then, I've sent nienie a charm bracelet with photos of her family and I included a pair of earrings for her sister cjane. If you're not familiar with these gals from my previous posts, NieNie and her husband were in a horrible plane crash in Aug'08 and after months of fighting for her life, is now home recovering with her family. Her sister has been caring for her children since then and has also kept Nie's blog alive and her readers updated on the Nielson's progress. Read their blogs, their love for life and family is inspiring.

Fast forward through the holidays and 10 weeks of the worst cold of my life and I'm now ready to strike again and send someone else "a little happy".

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