By Jennifer Partridge
I have a confession to make . . . I don’t like the phrase “random acts of kindness”!
You’re probably scratching your head saying, “What?! Didn’t I just come to a blog all about kindness?”
Don’t get me wrong – I am passionate about kindness! It’s not the acts of kindness I have a problem with, it’s the word “random.” I understand what it’s supposed to mean in the phrase, but I worry that it leaves people with the impression that kindness just happens on its own. Just go about your day and at some point you’ll randomly do an act of kindness. Does that happen? Sure. But if we truly want to increase kindness in the world around us, let’s eliminate the idea of random.
Instead, let’s focus on INTENTIONAL acts of kindness! Connection, empathy, appreciating differences, & belonging happen when we deliberately make them a priority.
Recently I had a big event happening in my life. On the morning of the event, I received text messages from two different friends (who don’t know each other). They each simply mentioned they were thinking of me that day and hoped that everything went well. It was a small and simple act, but it meant a great deal to me and helped strengthen me that day! They remembered me and something important to me! What meant the most is that they took the time out of their own schedule to send me a text. They were thoughtful and intentional about making a connection! That’s what kindness is all about!
So how do we put this intentional kindness into action? I’m sure there are as many ways as there are people. That’s what makes it great -- you have unique talents and perspectives that can bless someone else in a way someone else cannot. That’s also what makes it hard -- there is no formula, and it’s up to you to make it happen!
Something that works for me is to start my day by asking, “Who needs me today? Or what can I do today to make a difference for someone else?” As you think about that while getting ready for your day, an idea will come to your mind. Then set a plan on how you will do it!
It’s easy to stay in our little bubble . . . going about the routine of life with work, school, and family. As important as it is to be kind to those we see in our normal schedule, there are more people that need us. Be intentional in expanding your bubble. Look for those who are just outside of it. So many people are craving connection and need to be seen. Your intentional acts of kindness will lift them, and in the process you will strengthen friendships and create new ones!
How will you fill the world with intentional acts of kindness?!
Jennifer Partridge is a wife and mom to four children, ages 11-19. She currently serves on the Provo School District Board of Education and is also passionate about kindness, connection, and building community. Jennifer loves chocolate, Disneyland, date nights at all of the amazing Provo restaurants, working out, and traveling.
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