Day 257 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I witnessed a Random Act of Kindness while I was on the bus today. Yes, I saw the Power for Good in action and it sure felt great to witness. Now haven’t I been writing about these things lately? Yes I have.

However, not just content to watch, I decided to take the Random Act of Kindness even further. Here is what happened.

A university student got up (at considerable inconvenience from where he was sitting) to give his seat to a mature lady who just got on the bus. I watched all this from afar and thought “what a nice young man.” The lady thanked him and sat down.

Later as I was about to get off the bus, the student was sitting across the aisle from me, so I leaned down and said: “that was a nice gesture giving your seat to that lady.”  He smiled and said thank you however, the lady wasn’t finished with him yet and as she too was exiting the bus, got the student’s attention and waved to him mouthing “Thank you so much” to him as she left the bus.

At this stage, I was still standing beside him so I leaned in again and said: “Gee, it’s your lucky day today getting all these compliments.” He gave a grin and laughed but I could tell he was loving every minute of it.

You see, it is not everyday that a 20-year-old boy is fawned over by two middle-aged women!

As luck would have it, I shared the lift with the lady as we exited the bus station and I commented that I had seen the whole giving up the bus seat gesture and I shared with her how I had added to it with some praise of my own. We got talking and she told me she really wanted to impress on the young man how grateful she was because of what had happened to her son.

As an 18-year-old, he had stood up for a heavily pregnant woman. Her response was: “What! Do you think I’m … expletive …  crippled?!!” The boy told his mother he would never give up his seat for anyone again. I lamented to the lady how sad this was and as we were walking the same way, we continued talking about Random Acts of Kindness’ (RAK).

It got me thinking today about what constitutes a ‘Random Act of Kindness’ so here are a few thoughts taken from an interesting website I came across today about Mind Map Inspiration:

“True Random Acts of Kindness are genuine, sincere, thoughtful and considerate. They are acts without seeking anything in return. This means no ROI (Return on Investment), in fact, no thinking of it as an investment and no expectation of a return favour or RAK (Ramdom Act of Kindness).”

However, there is another side to all this giving and I began to wonder why some people are not able to RECEIVE it when someone does something nice. I had a friend and her husband who were a great help to us with an Engagement Party we had for our daughter. As it was the husband’s birthday on the Monday, I sent them some flowers (they lived in the country) to say thank you for all their help.

I did not hear back from them and began to wonder if they had received the flowers. A fortnight later when I phoned, the friend told me off in no uncertain terms for wasting my money on such a ridiculous thing as flowers. Oh, she was so hostile to me that I was made to feel there was something wrong with me for my good deed.

It did make me reluctant to do any more ‘good deeds’ for her again. We cannot give to someone who cannot receive it.

So sometimes folks, some of us have no trouble GIVING but for some reason, we are not able to RECEIVE equally well. And to be balanced, one has to be able to ‘give and receive’. Do any of you ‘out there’ struggle to receive? I am long past struggling with this now but there was a time many years ago when it was not so easy!

You see when we cannot receive, it may be because we don’t wish to feel indebted or we may not feel worthy or heaven forbid we may be like children crying out “I want to do it MYSELF!” as if there is something wrong with us if someone offers help. We want to keep control and we would feel ‘out of control’ if someone did something nice for us.

I read that “giving feels like an active thing, whereas receiving can make us feel vulnerable. But giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin.” Interesting eh? But here is some good advice that I read which is worth passing on:

“I’m learning to practice this shift into comfortable receiving, slowly, one baby step at a time. I receive a compliment with a simple thank you , no matter that inside I am discounting the words.

This is a learned skill. I can learn this. I can let the words sink in and fill my empty spaces. I can accept a gift with a thank you and let that be enough, sitting on my hands to keep from jumping up to return the favor.”

So be aware dear friends, that there are two sides to this Random Acts of Kindness scenario: GIVING AND RECEIVING.

Don’t be so good at GIVING that we never allow ourselves to be on the RECEIVING end. Start practicing today …

Love this mind map I found