the month of intentional kindness
I’ve been brooding a lot lately.
The reasons for my darkly-clouded mood aren’t really all that significant. In the grand scheme of all the terrible, horrible things that happen in this world, my problems are barely blips on the radar. But it can be so hard to remember that when you’re in the middle of them, you know? Bad stuff kinda piles up and suddenly you find yourself lost and confused and feeling like you can’t get a break.
Which is ridiculous, because man, I live one heck of a privileged life. Heck, I’d venture to say I even live a happy life (which is something totally different from privileged). So in an attempt to extract myself from my pity party and instead do something better for everyone, I’m declaring September the month of intentional kindness.
So often, I find myself just hoping that we could all be nicer and kinder to each other. I’ll be sitting at a stop sign and I’ll see someone plow through with complete disregard for the other people. Or I’ll see some unsuspecting cashier taking the brunt of someone’s chip on their shoulder. It makes me so sad that so many of us (me included) are so stuck in our own internal struggles (which are, the vast majority of the time, not actually significant) that we don’t take the time to just be kind. It sounds so easy—being kind—but when you are weighed down by busy schedules, traffic jams and work drama, it can be so hard to muster the energy to just be kind.
I try. I really do. But sometimes I focus so much on my little, annoying first-world problems that I get so wrapped up in myself and forget that the people around me are fighting their own battles. And that a little bit of kindness might just make their lives a little bit easier. What an amazing place this world would be if we all just went out of our way to be kinder to the person sitting next to us.
This month, instead of focusing on myself and my goals and my world, I’m going to turn it around and spend 30 days focusing on others. I’m going to do a not-so-random act of kindness each day this month. 30 days. 30 acts of intentional kindness. Hopefully to a stranger and hopefully 100% anonymously. And I hope that those little acts not only help people have a better day, but also I hope that they are inspired to pass along the little bit of kindness to the next person they meet. And maybe, as a nice byproduct, I’ll learn that my problems aren’t so terrible after all.
I just want us to all be better. Do better. Be kinder. And I figured what better place to start than with myself?
If you want to join in, I’ve made a grid of the 30 tasks I plan on completing this month. Some are more complicated and involved than others, but I want to finish them all up this month.