Today is my birthday, and I will spend time today continuing a little birthday tradition that I started five years ago. I will do one random act of kindness for each year of my age, so this year it will be 33 acts of kindness. Over the past few years of celebrating this way, I have found that trying to do everything in one day is a little overwhelming; so I’ve spaced it out into 3 days, March 25-27.
I’ve debated sharing this for a while, but I have decided that I want to share how I started this tradition. In 2013, a few days before my birthday, I read a news story that made me really upset. Today I can’t tell you exactly which story it was, but it really doesn’t matter. Every day I see stories in my news feed that make my heart hurt. I’m sure it was a story about a child or an animal being abused in some way, but whatever it was, it left me heartbroken.
I remember driving home, and I could not get the awful details out of my head. I couldn’t hold back the tears, and I just kept thinking how can people be so awful to other people and living creatures? Why is there so much evil in this world and what can we do about it? And then I started to feel completely helpless. I remember asking God the questions swimming in my head. WHY is there so much evil? And WHAT can we DO about it? And then I got my answer. I felt a sense of peace as this answer came to me, and I realized that I can not control the actions of others. What I can do, is control my own actions and I can choose to put GOOD into the world.
Since my birthday was just days away, it seemed like the perfect way to spend my day. I realize that paying for someones coffee or leaving change on a parking meter is not going to change the world, but I think that we can all agree that little unexpected gestures of kindness can make our day brighter.
This will be my 5th year of celebrating, and like I said, I have never publicly shared how or why this tradition started. I decided to share this year because I thought that maybe other people find themselves feeling the same way I did, questioning what can one person do to make a difference. I love the saying that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something, and I thought that maybe sharing my experience would encourage others to spread the good even further!
One of the things that I have done each year is give away a free photo session as one of my random acts of kindness. I would love to do that again this year! I will randomly select a winner that will be announced on Tuesday, March 28th. To enter, just comment on this post with a random act of kindness that you have done or will do today! Acts of kindness can be simple like holding a door for someone, letting someone go ahead of you in line, giving a compliment to a stranger, or calling a friend or relative that you haven’t talked to in a while. This morning I took donuts to the kids in my Sunday school class and asked them to each do an act of kindness for the day. They had some great ideas, and it just goes to show the ripple effect of how one small act can lead to another.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and for being a part of my act of birthday
celebration! Again, just comment on this post with the act of kindness that you have done or will do today to be entered to win a free portrait session. All entries must be made by 11:59 pm on March 27, 2017 and a winner will be selected at random and announced on March 28th!