In the French movie Amelie, the titular character played by Audrey Tautou sneaks around Paris practicing random acts of kindness, for the most part. This gave me the idea of creating a list of good deeds for each day, similar to a list of errands, but with feel-good attached.
I remember all the kind deeds I received from friends, neighbors, and strangers, even from angels that appeared out of nowhere and disappeared after helping me. My sister once bought me a bag of groceries when I was between jobs. A mechanic once fixed my car for a six-pack of beer (when I had a car). And one time after I lost a job and wanted to buy some organic strawberries at a farmers market, but lacked the money, a woman dropped money on the ground and claimed she found it on the bottom of her shoe. She gave me the money so I could buy the strawberries without losing my pride.
Granted, not everyone wants help and we must decide whether to sneak them help or let them hit bottom first. Not an easy decision for anyone to make. We also must intend to help others without receiving anything in return. Meaning, don’t use a kind deed as a form of manipulation because you want something from the other person now or in the future. That’s not kindness which has no strings attached.
Here’s my Amelie-style list:
- Drop money on the ground on purpose. Best if you do this at a post office, grocery store or bus station.
- Give a ride to an unemployed friend who has a job interview or to apply for jobs.
- Buy a bus pass for an unemployed friend or colleague (if you can afford it).
- Make soup for a sick friend or neighbor.
- Buy a bag of groceries or give produce from your garden for a neighbor in need. My father grew up during the Depression and neighbors would leave food on his family’s doorstep anonymously.
- Clean house when you’re staying at a friend or family members house (not as a guest).
- Plan a surprise birthday party for a lonely neighbor or friend, especially if he or she is going through a divorce, death, or other life change.
When doing random acts of kindness, use your judgement and discern situations. Don’t use acts of kindness as a way to enable other people’s destructive behavior such as giving money to an alcoholic or drug addict on the street. And watch out for scams by people who prey on kind progressive types. Acts of kindness should heal a community not enable crime or vagrancy.
It’s best to start with people you know, such as friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors and co-workers. However, in the situation where the woman dropped money on the ground so that I could buy strawberries, I was a stranger to her. And when I’ve left money in strategic places or dropped money in a busking musician’s hat, they were strangers. I have also made the mistake of giving money to vagrants when I was in my 20s because I felt guilty for having a job and a roof over my head. This guilt made me an easy target, then later I could have used that money for groceries. After all, I had a minimum wage part-time job and an expensive roof over my head!
Which brings up another point, don’t give out of guilt. Give from love and true kindness. Give because you know that you’re in the flow and what flows in, also flows out. When we feel connected to the Source or spend time in the Abraham-Hicks Vortex, life feels so darn good that we wish to share this goodness with others. We do so without strings or expectation, for to have strings or expectations suggest that we’re fearful and not loving. Kindness comes from the heart, not the brain and not the ego. And when we feel kindness our hearts swell and overflow with love.
I give intuitive coaching session for artists, artisans and entrepreneurs in Bellingham, Washington;as well as, astrology readings locally and via long distance. Sign up at Whole Music & Whole Astrology.