Why do we really do random acts of kindness?

We often hear the phrase “random acts of kindness”, it is a relatively well-known concept. When you think about the times you’ve practiced random acts of kindness, what are some past practices that come to mind?

I found myself thinking about this question as I wrote this post because it’s an interesting one to ask, “When did I give something without expecting anything in return?

A little too often, I find it difficult to spread light and positivity when I don’t get the same in return. I go on sprinkling my love and my kindness, and I even end up feeling silly when I don’t get treated the same. But one lovely summer afternoon, my very wise teacher told me – we should operate from happiness, and not for happiness, and treat people with no expectations of being treated the same. Spread love. Don’t always do it for them – do it because that’s who you are!

I took his advice to heart, and I now see what he meant. I remember spending a day in a school with underprivileged kids, simply teaching, playing, and making Nutella and peanut butter jelly sandwiches with them. I didn’t quite get anything in return, but my reason to feel happy was right in front of me. Their precious little faces beaming with pleasure and smiles. That was my lesson learnt that day, and I now believe in it with all my heart.

The beautiful thing about random acts of kindness is that there are not only benefits to the receiver, but also to the giver. Reflecting upon that, there are heaps of little things we can do. Picking up litter on the beach. Serving at a homeless shelter. Volunteering at an animal shelter. Planting a tree. Sending someone a heartfelt letter instead of a text. I would love to hear some of your ideas for tiny acts of kindness: what do you think? Pop them in the comments below :).

⁃ SaaniaSparkle 🧚🏻‍♀️

228 thoughts on “Why do we really do random acts of kindness?

  1. I’ve gone through a few phases of thinking on this.

    I used to get in trouble with my family by telling them I only did kind things of any sort to make me feel good about myself. That ‘altruism’ is disguised narcissism. Hopefully I’ve come some way since convincing my folks I’m a psychopath, but I still reckon there’s an important truth to that.

    Giving to beggars, especially during my years in India, taught me that while the narcissistic aspect might be true, it’s kinda irrelevant. Even though giving changes my feelings about myself it’s still possible – and an incredible privilege – to be able to give unconditionally. Not because of how it makes me feel or what I think it does. Not in spite of how it makes me feel or what I think it does. Not because I believe in ‘good’ and trying to do it. Just because it seems right at the time and I can.

    To me part of giving is recognising nothing is really part of me. It all just flows through what I think of as ‘me’. Otherwise I might start thinking of myself as some kind of entity with the right or responsibility to choose how to dispense or withhold what I imagine is mine. That seems a bit limiting.

    Maybe learning to give is an important part of learning to accept and to love and to be. But you don’t do it because it’s an incredibly valuable life skill or because God might reward you for it. You do it because of itself. Because it’s beautiful.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I like to unexpectedly send someone a gift through the post, related to something they are doing. Maybe some decorations for their first Christmas tree, or flowers if they’ve recently moved into new house. I have definitely found that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Saania, beautiful post. My mother always taught me to give back and that it was much better than receiving. As a lover of gifts, I found that hard to believe as a child, but it is so true. I feel so much happier if I have a project outside of myself to make the lives of others better. Volunteering with Kiwanis was one way that I gave back until we moved three weeks ago. I will be looking for ways to serve in our new community. Thanks for sharing this. Sharing our love through our blogs is another way that we give, don’t you think?

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I once worked in a school where a bunch of teenagers decided to routinely go around town and commit random acts of kindness to strangers. They had a blast while also learning an awful lot about themselves, their neighborhood, and other people.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. It occurs to me that we need random acts of kindness because it is so easy to be irritated and annoyed with people who may have done nothing wrong except be there being experienced as being annoying.

    A random act of kindness in such an instance would be a break in the cycle. A way to disrupt the chain of potentially escalating negativity. It could be small. But it could be enough. And costs nothing.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I find one of the simplest ways to spread is kindness is to smile and wish someone a good day. You can do that constantly until it becomes automatic and really does make someone’s day. I find if I can do that, even when I am grumpy, it changes my mood as well. Of course all those other things, like picking up litter, sending a card, paying for someone’s coffee and volunteering are all things that I try to do, not as often as I should. Great to get me thinking about this again.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. In these times, wearing a mask is a tiny act of kindness since it protects others more from you than that it protects you from them. Buying someone from a poor country a malaria net or malaria prevention meds is a small kindness too, though perhaps not that random. Being reciprocal in things, compliments, likes, gifts and other things can be quite kind, though perhaps a bit of a calculated kindness sometimes.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. “But one lovely summer afternoon, my very wise teacher told me – we should operate from happiness, and not for happiness, and treat people with no expectations of being treated the same. Spread love. Don’t always do it for them – do it because that’s who you are!”

    I would make a small edit.
    “But one lovely summer afternoon, my very wise teacher told me – we should operate from happiness, and not for happiness, and treat people with no expectations of being treated the same. Spread love. Don’t always do it for them – do it because that’s who WE WANT TO BE!”

    Agape love is not natural to us. Our flesh abhors agape love. It is the spirit our Lord has given us that tells us we should love others as we love our self, but consider.

    Matthew 26:41 New American Standard Bible
    41 Keep watching and praying, so that you do not come into temptation; the spirit is [a]willing, but the flesh is weak.”

    The apostles loved Jesus. They had to know Jesus was suffering. Jesus’ fear should have made them afraid. Still, they could not keep watch with Jesus. They did not have the strength to overcome the either the moral or the physical weakness of their own flesh, not without the help of God.

    So do your best, but don’t expect to instantly become holy for only God is good, and we need His help to become better..

    Liked by 4 people

  9. “Do it because that’s who you are” is the absolute best advice. It’s too easy to feel resentful of how other people have treated you in the past or to feel like there needs to be some sort of reciprocity in good deeds, but truly, that’s not a healthy attitude and it is far better to let go and just be kind.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hi SaaniaSparkle,
    I enjoy reading your blog and I love the title. I don’t know what your plans are regarding university, but I encourage you to study philosophy. It is even more fun!

    The random acts of kindness you refer to are positive forms of altruism. There are also negative forms of altruism – i.e. not doing something to ensure that harm does not come to another individual. Such situations can in turn raise the interesting question: To what degree ought we engage in self-sacrifice for the benefit of others?

    If you are looking for a great online resource to dig deeper on such topics check out the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy https://plato.stanford.edu/index.html. All the best with your philosophical inquiries. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  11. In the Book of Proverbs of the Holy Bible we are told to:

    “Cast our bread onto the waters and after many days one will find it again.”

    Helping others is like planting a seed that grows into a harvest.

    It may not be the same person(s) one helped in the past who fulfills our need at the moment it is needed.

    The help may even come from a total stranger; but, in one form or another those who help others in their moment of need will receive the help they need when they need it the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I always pick up the nail or screw I might find to prevent someone especially those elderly or handicapped in some way from getting a flat tire. Yes. a random act of kindness and no one will ever know me nor will I ever know if I helped anyone this way. But “picking up the nail” is how i characterize acts like this that prevent harm to people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. -Fumm3 Midi Aqua Pleuve- Dec. Sat.. 2020

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  13. My sister would say there’s enough bad, sinister in the world already. So if you’re going to be kind, remember that there’s not much of it and you’re doing it as the exception. And I know that there’s always a blessing for everyone who exhibits kindness even in minute ways. We just have to be strong. Thank you for this piece and may you always be inspired to show more kindness

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Wonderful reflections of life really! It takes work but is absolutely worth it in the long run. Personal development is an extremely important part of life. Both for oneself but for the rest of the world as well. After all, we all have an impact on each other even if we want to or not. Constructive critisism is one thing, but bitterness and hatred towards others is another. It’s easy to tell the difference! Keep at it, what a great blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Awesome post!
    One of my favourite acts of kindness is lending an ear to anyone who is not in their best state of mind because, so often when we’re down, we just need someone to listen to what we’re going through and tell us that it’ll be okay. And that’s kinda what I hope to accomplish with my blog, The Vibrant Space, too. I hope I can spread some positivity and give some hope to people going through a rough time ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. demands her precious taxidermized monstrosity. Complicating 

      She views it a-realistic toy,

      THE TAXIDERMIZED CORPSE: stuffed

      a bedtime story

       in Zoom

      snuggling with dead!!?

      this particular “toy” rabbits to, say, owls. Or, you know, wait.

      Metaphorically, Old War

      I was told, among disappeared!!

      twisted lover: voices chill, echo core

      months returned

      wierdo??

      she has hated her name,

      Australia. She so –

      numb believed dry

      Metaphorically, Old War

      not a gender-neutral thing, by the way—just a question.

      Liked by 1 person

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