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Khajuria9's avatar

Have you ever done any random acts of kindness?

Asked by Khajuria9 (1527 points ) May 8th, 2014

How did it feel inside? And, what prompted you to do that?
Would you like to share a story?

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21 Answers

Crazydawg's avatar

A lady was in line who was using food stamps to buy groceries and it was painful to watch her instruct the cashier to remove one banana from the bunch to bring the total down to the amount of stamps she had left. One by one the bananas came off till she only had one left.

I was next and told the cashier to put the bananas in my cart and I went outside and gave them to the lady.

ibstubro's avatar

I have asked this question, and I love it.

I was in a store yesterday that won’t allow you to take your carts out of the store. I only had 3 items and when I got to the checkout, there was only one checker and the woman in frontof me had a cart full. I was annoyed that I had to wait, probably visibly. The woman finally got checked out (43 items the checker informed her) and was taking forever collecting her bags. I finally got check out, and as I passed the woman, I realized she had to carry all that crap to the car. So I turned and said, “Don’t hurt yourself – I have to go that way too. I’ll carry part. You’ll have to open the car door somehow, anyway.” We stowed her bags, she thanked me profusely and we both had a bright spot in our day. I had fun instead of fuming. :)

Sometimes it’s the little things.

Mimishu1995's avatar

One day I had to take a test. The room where I took the test was at the fourth floor. And before entering the test room I had to put my possession other than my pencil case in room on the first floor. After putting my things in the first floor room, and a tiring stair-climbing, I came the test room. A boy came some time after I came and suddenly he realized he didn’t bring his calculator. He couldn’t call anyone to bring it for him because he left his cellphone at home. He asked me if I had any spare calculator, I said no (because I didn’t have any), but offered to let him borrow the cellphone to call home. Another tiring (but willing) stair-climbing, and his father finally delivered the calculator to him. He thanked me at least three times after that.

My feeling? It’s just like… a thing to do. Helping people seems like some kind of duty I have to do. I only think I help people because I’m a human being, that’s all.

Khajuria9's avatar

Great job, ibstubro. That proves how kind you really are. By the way, any kindness showered on here, Fluther, I mean? Do you think you made somebody happy on here by being kind. Yea, a couple of times, you made me feel great about yourself because of your talks and good nature, what about others?

Khajuria9's avatar

Nice one Mimishu and Crazydawq…. Thanks for sharing!

GloPro's avatar

I do random acts of kindness regularly. I choose not to share them, lest it becomes more about me and how kind/generous I am and less about the actual acts.
Suffice it to say that I do my fair share of paying it forward.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

A lot. The most recent was the elderly lady who owns the fruit stand down at the crossroads just outside the nearest village from here. She’s a quiet woman, goes about her business. Doesn’t smile a lot. But she has these amazing eyes. I couldn’t quite place them, but they were brave eyes. It finally clicked and they were the eyes I’d seen in photos of Apache prisoners from the 1800s. Geronimo’s people. They all had the same eyes. Defiant and sad. Eyes that knew they were right, that they were worthy, but had given up on that ever being understood. I told her she had really magnificent eyes. You’d think I’d given her a million dollars. Spring in her step, smile on her face. She always offers me her best now. Always smiles when she sees me coming. I told her about the Apaches and she told me about doing nine years in prison. She killed her old man because she couldn’t take another night of beatings and she didn’t think she was beautiful anymore.

I never do this type of thing expecting a payoff,—christ, they cost us nothing—but that one has really enriched me.

seekingwolf's avatar

It depends. Overall though, I don’t because most acts of kindness requires that the person actually SEES you doing the act of kindness (ie, they see you, have a chance to talk to you, know your name). I don’t like that. I prefer anonymity. I think if you are going to be generous, you ought to do it anonymously so that people don’t take advantage of you.

I keep my acts anonymous and small. I go to the Red Cross every 2 weeks to donate my platelets. I let other cars “in” my lane during heavy traffic. I’ll call 911 for a stranger if I need to, and then I leave the scene once help arrives. I am on the National Marrow Registry and if I get matched to a donor, I will donate but I prefer not to know anything about the patient and I don’t want them to know anything about me. If I live to be an old woman and they no longer want my organs after I die, I’ll donate my whole body for medical purposes so medical students can dissect me and learn from my parts before I’m cremated.

I don’t like to do acts of kindness that aren’t anonymous. Getting “thank yous” or being recognized for it cheapens the whole thing. It can put you at risk as well.

The experience that really taught me this was when I was younger. My mom worked at a hospital and knew of the some of the neediest families in our town. They didn’t know that she knew that they were really suffering and had several kids. So we bought them age-appropriate presents for the kids for Christmas and tree decorations and even bought them some groceries so they could prepare a holiday meal for everyone. We even gave them stationary so they could make and send their own Christmas cards. I remember being 6 and loading up everything at their door step and being told to ring the doorbell and RUN LIKE HELL back the car. As we were driving away, I could see a parent and some kids come out and look at the goodies and take them in.

Days later, the parents PAID to put an ad in the local paper. They were completely in awe over what someone had done for them. They put the ad out because they wanted to know who had done that for them and they wanted to thank them. I asked my parents if we were going to say anything and they said no because that takes away from the whole point of doing good.

I really am of the belief that the best acts of kindness are faceless, anonymous. So that the ONLY payoff you get is from yourself, because the benefiters never know you.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I do as much as I think of it. How I feel about it is irrelevant, and I won’t mention my motivation because no one wants to hear it.

seekingwolf's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

I’m interested! What is it? It interests me to find out why people do certain things.

I have a friend who is very into what I like to call “showy” acts of kindness but balks at the stuff that I do. Leads me to believe that the recognition is important for her.

But we all have different motivation(s).

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@seekingwolf I’m interested! What is it? It interests me to find out why people do certain things.
Let me see if I can do the digest version as to not bore everyone. I try to make every opportunity to do good to people because it brings honor and glory to God. If someone is having a bad day or trouble and I can help them out, I will. I do not hide the fact that it is due to God that He even put me in the mindset to help them expecting nothing back, but I don’t require they believe or do anything but know where it came from through me. I could be as your friend and make a production out of it, but then I have gotten my reward, the accolades of men. To do so in a manner where only you, God, and the person being helped (and sometimes not even them), shows you are doing it because of your love for your fellow man, not because they will pat you on the back for doing it. That is the short simple reason why.

seekingwolf's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

Yeah, I can respect that.

Doing nice things because you want/expect back pats from the people you help or from people who see you help sort of negates the good action, IMO. I am secular but I understand the desire to do God’s work and not necessarily because “Oh I want a place in heaven” but because of agape (universal love for all humans) and wanting to demonstrate that towards others.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@seekingwolf Thank you. See? We can reach across the aisle, others should look and learn.

seekingwolf's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

I feel that it’s much easier to coexist than to fight and you can get more done that way too. I wish my atheist/agnostic friends would see that too.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, many, but to self aggrandize is not where it’s at.
I do things because I like to see others happy and to be helpful, not for ego strokes.
Anyone that feels the need to call attention to how caring they are is coming from a self serving place. I had an ex friend like that, and her self image was ” I am giving and caring and want nothing in return.”

Bullshit…she was the most manipulative “giver” ever, and was completely blind to her vainglory. It was nauseating.

ibstubro's avatar

I don’t think there’s any harm in sharing our random acts of kindness. I have to say that I’ve seen random acts mentioned here on other incarnations of this question and thought, “Oh, crap, I never thought of that.” So, I turned my anger into kindness by carrying a woman’s bags to the car – it’s not like I was thinking at the time “Hooo, BOY, is this going to play well on Fluther.!” But I can see how it might inspire someone to follow suit.

In the past year I’ve picked up a hitchhiker in an ice storm, helped change 3–4 tires, added my 2 cents in an argument with a bully, carried groceries, helped unload trucks with strangers and guess what folks? I’m still here to tell about it! The 24/7 news loop would have you believe that every person in trouble is a scam that can cost you your life. I think it more likely that ignoring enough people in need could cost you your soul.

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro Sharing our good deeds in a recounting manner is fine, as long as we are not overly invested in being seen as some sort of saint. haha

Coloma's avatar

Okay, one of my best acts of random kindness.
This was in the summer of 2011 when I was working weekends at a river thrift store in my tourist community.
I had an adorable young guy come in the store and sold him a camping lantern and we started discussing a book I was reading. He was on a solo, adventure road trip from Ohio, and was just the nicest and most personable young guy.

I invited him to spend the night at my homestead in the hills and cooked him a great dinner, we babbled on for hours and had a great time, ( no…nothing funny going on ) and then, I made him a great breakfast, packed his backpack with goodies and he was off on his travels.
A few months later he sent me a beautiful hand dyed silk scarf his girlfriend made.
A perfect moment of sharing with a weary traveler.
Love them hippie river kids, gee, maybe because I was one about 35 years ago. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

Recently I came into a small windfall when, after she died, we sold some of my mother’s jewelry at auction and received more money than we expected. Simultaneously, a good friend was hit with needing three root canals and dental crowns. So I gave her the money for her dental work. (Secretly I cannot deny that I did feel some sense of “Oh, look at me. Aren’t I wonderful?”)

Even in this day of GPS, people are always getting lost around here. On several occasions I have given them my paper country street maps and also had them follow me to find the entrance to various parkways and highways.

I do try to do whatever more modest acts I can think of such as paying the toll for the car behind me on a toll road. The reactions to that are interesting. Once, the driver chased me for a while, succeeded in not running me off the road, and when I pulled over, he gave me five ball point pens with his company logo on them.

There are always opportunities for mini-modest acts in the check-out lines at the super markets also. Letting people with just a few items jump the queue or doling out a few bucks if someone has a cash flow problem. It’s catching often.

Coloma's avatar

@gailcalled I agree, and, it is also interesting how shocked and surprised people are over such small gestures of friedliness.

turtlesandbox's avatar

I do little things every time I leave my house.

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