Wednesday, October 4, 2017

National Do Something Nice Day

Did you know that tomorrow, October 5, is National Do Something Nice Day?

Recently I've had two reminders about being kind to people whether they deserve it or not.

The first came from a podcast about ADD. The speaker, who definitely has ADHD, talked about one of the ways he helps himself is by making connections with people. He said that even in the grocery store he plays a little game with himself to try to connect with the other people shopping there by looking at them as they pass and when they look at him he smiles. He gets a point if they smile back. His ADHD had made him feel unconnected from others because people couldn't follow the leaps he took in subject matter, his hyper behavior, and his impulsivity. Learning to be kind to people and connect was one compensation he developed to deal with his difference.

The second was from another podcast where a woman talked about "The Kindness Challenge". This was a way she had developed for people in difficult relationships to help them become better, and even good, relationships. (I found it funny that this woman is a statistician by training so she tried this experiment with something like 780 people and 89% of them reported that their relationships were better after trying this.)

The Kindness Challenge is basically fourfold:
Every day for 30 days--
1. Do something kind for the other person
2. Say something kind to the other person
3. Say something nice about the other person to someone else (even if they don't hear it)
4. Refrain from saying anything negative to or about the other person

By doing these things you change your own opinion of the other person and they see you being nice to them and most will return in kind and change their attitude toward you.

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) have been around quite a while, something like paying for the toll of the car behind you, buying a case of water bottles and giving them out to construction workers on your street, or holding the door open for someone. In fact, in some places this has become a thing--at a Starbucks in Pennsylvania not too long ago 160 people in a row paid for the coffee of the person behind them!

But I think that more meaningful than random acts of kindness is doing something for someone you know. Show love to the people around you. And I'm warning you, it might cost you something. Remember when David was going to make an offering to God and he wanted to buy Araunah's threshing floor and oxen to do it. Araunah offered King David his possessions as a gift, but David said, "I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God which cost me nothing." (2 Samuel 24:24) Acts of kindness should "cost" as well to show true kindness.

What are some things you could do tomorrow to "do something nice" to celebrate the day?

Here are some suggestions:

- visit an elderly person or shut in

- tell a young mom to take a nap or go get a cup of coffee while you watch her kids for an hour
- rake your neighbor's leaves
- make a meal for a harried friend and take it to them in disposable containers 
- write someone a thank you note, maybe someone from the past in your life, the person who preached on Sunday if the sermon touched you, someone who had a kind word for you when you were down
- take a bouquet of flowers to a widow
- send a care package to a college student or soldier you know
- give a new neighbor a map of your neighborhood with the names of various neighbors, your name and phone number, and a list of plumbers, electricians, car mechanics, dentists, etc. that you recommend
- bake a loaf of pumpkin bread and bring it to work or a Bible study to share
- pray for a missionary and then write them an email to tell them you did (believe me hearing that someone actually prayed for you is an amazing encouragement)
- put encouraging notes in your husband's or kids' lunches, briefcases, or backpacks
- watch the show someone else wants to watch, even though it's the same time your favorite is on
- take a friend out for coffee
- offer a senior a ride to the doctor or the grocery store
- look up a high school friend on Facebook and reconnect

Don't brag about what you do on social media, (Proverbs 27:2) but if someone does something nice for you, tell the world and use the hashtag #DoSomethingNiceDay.

How can you do this with your family?

How about each person drawing the name of another person in the family tonight at dinner and tomorrow they have to do something nice for that person, maybe do one of their chores before they get a chance, warm up their bath towel in the dryer while they are in the shower, or leave their favorite candy on their pillow. The next night at dinner have each person tell what was done for them and guess who did it. Enjoy the laughter and love of your family.

Even if the National day has passed, take time to do something nice today!

Tell me, what was done for you today?

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  1. What a great challenge! And I love the theme of your blog.

  2. Kindness is something our world needs a lot more of lately - and I like the idea of being deliberately kind to someone you find difficult because it would have to make an impact in some way on the relationship for the better.

    1. There are a few Proverbs that indicate this works!

  3. Awesome post of simple ways we can love those around us. I loved it so much I shared it on my blog facebook page! Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. Well, I missed National Do Something Nice Day, but I'll commit to doing something nice for someone today. I especially liked the idea of improving a challenging relationship by focusing on kindness towards and about that person for 30 days. I went for a hike with my husband today, and he was kind enough to give me the smoother side of the trail and also give me the Kleenex he brought for himself when my allergies got to me. Small, but thoughtful, acts of kindness. Have a happy, kind day!

    1. I really think it's all the little acts of kindness that truly show we care. It's easier to do one big, dramatic act, but the little, daily, dying to oneself to be kind to or serve another is true love.

  5. Kindness is King. Today Babushka was given another day filled with promises and possibilities. The best thing done for me everyday. Here from the Grand Social and enjoying your post. BB2U



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