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February 14-20: Random Kindness Week

February 17, 2016

UnknownIn the February chapter on love, Gretchen Rubin has a section entitled, “Give Proofs of Love,” in which she quotes Pierre Reverdy, who said, “There is no love; there are only proofs of love.” This reinforces the idea that love is an action verb, not a feeling.

Again, she inserts research that claims that hugging relieves stress and that 47% of those surveyed felt closer to family members who expressed affection.

I also took to heart her point that “if you want to know how people would like to be treated, it’s more helpful to look at how they themselves act that what they say.” In other words, if someone who never misses a birthday and who always gives thoughtful, personal gifts says, “Oh, I don’t need anything for my birthday,” don’t take that seriously. This may be the other side to my observation that we tend to give people what we want to receive. (I scratch your back where mine itches, hoping you’ll get the hint and scratch me there.)

Probably the most important point she makes, one I could use, is to do something nice not in order to get credit or gratitude: “Do it for myself.”

Directly and indirectly today, I’ve been reminded that this is “Random Acts of Kindness Week.” I heard accounts of other people on the receiving end, and then the woman in front of my in the drug store (where I was loading up on cough medicine) asked the clerk to pass her $10 credit on to the next customer (me!) Without giving too much away, I’ll tell you that I was part of a group last year doing some secret acts of kindness this time last year, swearing each other to secrecy. The results were so much fun, we found another opportunity to act on an even bigger scale at a time when the people around us needed a boost.  Hearing the response and the guesses about the source of the surprises was much more fun than credit or recognition.

Try it for yourself–and mum’s the word!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 9, 2016 6:22 pm

    I love this, Cuz! Your random acts last year (I remember your telling me about this!) remind me of our English Department at Woodham High School. We drew names for secret pals, and we NEVER told anyone whose name we had. So much fun doing nice things for friends, especially NOT on their birthdays or for Christmas. I don’t have a group like this here in NM. So sad!

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