The Kindness Challenge


The Kindness Challenge

sunlight-166733_640When I was in college, a friend and I discussed how we would want to be remembered at the end of our lives.

"I want to be remembered for being a kind person," I said.

My friend was nothing short of aghast. "That's not something to be remembered for," she exclaimed. "You have to pick something else. That's just stupid."

"Nope," I said. "I want to be remembered for being kind."

I think one of our greatest challenges in life is to remain kind. Life can give you all kinds of reasons to be mean. Your caree is on the steady decline that feels too speedy. You can't get the help you need. You don't have the money to pay the bills.

It's hard to be kind when the world seems too unkind.

I kinda worried about our 31-Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge. Would we think, "I can't give anymore! I don't have any more kindness left in me!"

I think many believe that the random act kindness is what happens in line at Starbucks--one patron pays for the one behind him and so on and son. Or that kindness means holding open a door.

In our 31-Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge, I see a different level of kindness. @lily, who cares for her husband, shared her December 4 RAOK: "Made and brought a pot of soup to my friends/neighbors, a husband and wife who are both sick." @hussy, who cares for her husband, takes the time to admire the photo of an acquaintance's daughter, telling her that "her daughter is beautiful and she positively glowed with pride." She smiles and waves to someone doing a thankless job in the cold. @lillie, who cares for her mom, checks up on a neighbor: "I have a neighbor, Merre, who is 94, she gets around pretty good but has been fighting a bad case of cellulitis. Since my mom’s hospital stay and all I really haven’t had the time to check on her like I used to. Today my son was home so I took a few minutes to go see Merre and find out how she is doing." @tstallone, who cares for her mom, reaches out to help others throughout her day on social media, writing yesterday that "I reached out to someone I have not spoken to in a long time to spread cheer." And, @goinhome, who cares for her dad, helped out one of our new members on Saturday afternoon, offering support and understanding and an ear--whenever it's needed..

Sure, buying someone coffee in line behind you is a good thing--it's a moment of generosity. In our 31-Day Random of Kindness, I see a lifetime of kindness, of truly being present in others' lives, of thinking of others and their well-being in a way that's beautifully profound. Kindness, I believe, is more than a trail that extends to the two people in line behind of you. It's a path built day by day, year by year. It's not about buying for strangers but about making everyone you meet in your life a friend, even if only for five minutes.

Kindness isn't random. It's a gift.

I no longer keep in touch with my friend from college. (Her five minutes expired). But I still do treasure the fine art of kindness. All of you paint the beauty of kindness daily.

(Join us in our 31-Day Random Act of Kindness. Tell us about your kindness in our Forum.)

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Lillie Fuller

I totally get this! If I was to be remembered for one thing I'd want it for being kind! I remember growing up my dad's sisters always used to love on me and tell me what a good girl I was, and this never changed as they got older. My dad's one living sister is like my best friend, next to my mom of course. I'm just not a mean person, I went through mean \"streaks\" but I am genuinely a kind person. I think it works in my favor!!


Thanks, Denise, for all you do. <3