Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A-Z Challenge: R: Random Acts of Kindness

The other day I was in the supermarket. In front of me was a young women with two children. She was counting pennies, hunting through her pockets and her purse, desperate to find enough money to pay for her groceries. I told the cashier to put her balance on my tab. It was only $10 or so, but that doesn't matter. My energy and emotions soared the entire rest of the day. It felt so damned good.

When I lived in New York, I remember going through a toll booth once and was told to go on through, the car in front of me had taken care of it. It was such a shock. We get so used to people dumping on us that when actual kindness occurs, we don't know what to do.

The movie, Pay it Forward, was all about this. But I remember a slogan from the 80's, Practice Random Acts of Kindness. I'd forgotten, until this challenge forced me to think of topics beginning with different letters. I'm grateful I remembered. What random act of kindness can I do today?

Actually, I am going to perform at a Senior Center today with my singing group, Sugartime. It's not random, but it is kind. We really do cheer people up when we sing. I won't get to visit all of you till later today.

How about you? Practice any random acts of kindness lately?


Kylie said...

I'm in a singing group called 'Random Acts of Singing'. Could have been my R post if I thought of it earlier!
Recently I had a few bags of shopping with me when I saw that a man had dropped $5 and not noticed. I left the shopping for a bit and chased him out of the shopping centre. That felt good and was appreciated I think.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A random act of kindness won't do anyone any harm, I try to do this daily when I'm out and about, I know there have been times in my life someone being kind to me made my day,

Odie Langley said...

I wish it was today but I was a line at the McD's drive thru some time back and got the urge and paid for the person behind me. That was a good feeling and I need to look for opportunities to do that more in various ways. I thank you for planting the seed. Have a great rest of the week.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely look for opportunities this week. Especially over the next few days before Easter!! ;-)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I help out others with change in line, or let them go in front of me if they only have a couple items and I have many. You're right, it blows people's minds!

Ruth said...

I really don't know.
I don't get out much but I do help people when I can.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes just smiling or talking to a stranger is an act of kindness, especially for those who've had a bad day or feel invisible to the world.

anthony stemke said...

Kindness has a wonderful duality about it. The r ecipient feels good and perhaps will pass it on. The giver feels good too, just for making civility a little stronger.
Thinking more of others is excellent character development.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, I love these little stories! I try to help out when I can, carrying groceries and such up the stairs for my neighbours. But I certainly do more!

Karen Walker said...

Kylie, Random Acts of Singing - I love it - wish I could steal it!
Yvonne, thank you, yes it does make a huge difference, even if it's just a small thing.
Odie, yes, and thanks for sharing
The Toll House Cookie, I need to remember to look for opportunities as well, all year-round.
Alex, it certainly does!
Ruth, no worries. It's not about feeling guilty
Diane, yes, a smile can work wonders.
Anthony, yes, that is what happens when I sing
Talli, me, too - loving the stories as well

Talei said...

Yes, my little one was desperate for the bathroom, and there was a queue of very cranky looking ladies, and surprisingly, the crankiest one let him go before her. Maybe it was his dancing on the spot that got to her but I was amazed and my son was very, very grateful. ;-)

baygirl32 said...

I remember finding myself in similar situations (digging through me purse looking for pennies) whenever I get a chance I do ROAK's be it paying for coffee for the person behind me, offering to carry someone's dhopping bags, or shovelling snow for all the people on my street. You would be amazed how far a simple smile can go when someone is having a bad day

Pixiebaby said...

I'm a huge fan of random acts of kindness. It's been something I've done for so long that doing them are just part of my day now. Great post! Wish more people would think this way. :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Many thanks for your lovely comment most welcomed. Yes it is a beautiful church, very small inside as the place used to be a small village but over the years new buildings came on the scene.

Ann said...

For me it is little things like letting someone in the grocery queue who only has a few items ahead of me. Stopping to let someone trying to get into traffic from a parking lot or space out. Little acts. Nothing to write home about, but they sure make a spirit soar.

Angeline said...

I always make a point of telling strangers when I like their hair, or their coat, or their boots. It always makes me feel so good when strangers compliment me!

Grammy said...

Hi, Karen, your story brought tears to my eyes...I notice that lately, tears come easily to me, I guess I am still in mourning from losing my husband less than a year ago. Your story reminds me that we never should pass up a chance to show kindness to others. thank you for sharing both the kindness and the story. Love, Ruby

Marjorie said...

I have had people do really kind things for me. I am a believer in human kindness.

Karen Walker said...

Telei, what a wonderful lesson for your son as well
Babygirl32, those are lovely things to do for others
Pixiebaby, yes, it's one of those ideas that would change the world if everyone would do it.
Angeline, compliments are a great way to practice random acts of kindness - love that!
Yvonne, you're very welcome
Ann, yes, that's the beauty - they can be very small, but meaningful nontheless
Grammy, grieving happens in its own time and in its own way. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you.
Marjorie, yes, me, too.

Lucy Adams said...

This has been my Lenten discipline, to do one random act of kindness each day. And it has been hard.


K.C. Woolf said...

You have a knack of posting topics when I need to be reminded of them!

Thank you so much for this post. :-)

Linda H. said...

I try to do random acts of kindness often. Sometimes I surprise a friend with a small gift or just a note of appreciation. Returning a lost object I found. Whatever comes up and is do-able. My daughter say I am too nice.

Anonymous said...

Karen, Great post! Random acts of kindness go a long way for both the giver and the receiver. Check 'K' is for Kindness on my blog, you'll see a great pic with that slogan, delivered to my blog by Zemanta: "Practice random acts of kindness..."

Julie said...

I love this little story. Beautiful post, Karen. I especially love how helping the woman at the grocery made you feel so great all day. That's so true, we can get such a natural high just by doing something kind. It's a great reminder to do it more often!

Martha (MM) said...

What a great post! I think that movie Pay it Forward was one of my most favorite movies ever. Have a great time at your performance! Thanks for visiting, it's so nice to "meet" you :-)

Ella said...

I love this idea and hope to do something on my blog, next month. My daughter's chorus group sang at a nursing home, yesterday. I plan on volunteering next week. Great post~

Karen Walker said...

Lucy, what a great thing to do during these Holy days.
KC, you're so welcome. Glad it helps.
Linda, not sure there is such a thing as too nice unless someone is a doormat and doesn't take care of themselves.
Alison, will do.
Julie, yes, it is a natural high.
Martha, nice to "meet" you as well.
Ella, thank you.

Pearson Report said...

What a wonderful post.

I live by the Pay It Forward philosophy. I have had the blessing of kindness coming my way most of my life and I never hoard it. I make sure I pass it on so the circle of giving never ends.

I like what you did for the woman buying groceries - good on you!

Have yourself a wonderful day,