“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Anne Herbert penned the phrase “practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty” in 1982. Many people practice random acts of kindness in the hopes of bringing a bit of happiness to others when they least expect it. This February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, during National Random Acts of Kindness Week from February 16th to 23rd, 2020. It’s a good time to start the heart healthy habit of performing random acts of kindness. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation calls it “the day the world turns kind.”
The beauty of a random act of kindness is that it can be something so simple and yet have so much meaning to another person. Let a mom with kids go in front of you in the grocery store checkout line. Give up your seat on the bus or train to someone else. Pay the toll of the person in the car behind you. Write a note of thanks to a coworker. Feed a stranger’s parking meter before it runs out. Pay a compliment to someone. Send a birthday card to an old friend. Stop to let someone merge in front of you. Bring your neighbor’s trash can in. Buy a homeless person something to eat. Hold the elevator door. Let someone else take your parking spot. Thank a veteran for his service to the country. The list is endless.
While many of these acts are simple and free or very inexpensive, they can have a priceless impact on both you and the receiver. You’ll feel good about doing something to brighten someone else’s day, and the receiver will be touched by your kindness.
Another great result of practicing random acts of kindness is that kind acts have a way of magically multiplying. One good deed has the ability to inspire a chain of good deeds. When you do something kind for someone, they are more likely to feel inspired to do something kind for someone else, so on and so forth.
The members of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia work to show kindness to the members of their community who need it most. There are so many people who are down on their luck, hopeless, and dejected. Showing these people warmth and kindness can help them find a glimmer of hope. Whether by visiting an isolated elderly person, providing shelter to the homeless or giving meals to the hungry, the members of St. Vincent de Paul Society show kindness to their brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Philadelphia has many ways, customized to each local community, for you to transform the lives of your neighbors as well as your own life. Like that of its founder, blessed Frédéric Ozanam, the vision of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul “is to embrace the world in a network of charity.”