Random acts of kindness
There is no place like home, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz reminds us.
Truly, most of us attribute our belief systems and the way we do things to how we were raised at home. We are grateful to have been encouraged to read, to have been exposed to music, to have woken up to the aroma of a great meal.
In our households, we also imbibe virtues like kindness. Unlike a secret family recipe, it is not merely handed down, but learned over many years of practice. It is a way of living that we bring outside the home for society to see and delight in. Kindness is thoughtfulness — a natural desire to share without really expecting anything back.
We need not go far to spread kindness. You may even be surprised that living in condominiums should not prevent you from giving anyone an instant feeling of happiness or appreciation. Here are some random ideas we hope will inspire you.
FOR THE ROAD.
We’ve always wondered why my Mom stashes bottles of cold water in the fridge, and a stack of biscuits near our doorway. It turns out she gives these away to the mailman, and messengers who deliver bills. “They walk long distances under extreme weather conditions,” she told us once. “Sometimes they skip meals just to finish their deliveries for the day.” So now, whenever it’s our turn to accept any delivery, we have a bottle of water and a pack of biscuits in hand.
FOR THE NIGHT WATCH.
Surprise your lobby receptionist or guards on night duty with a cup of coffee. Even a sachet of instant coffee would surely be appreciated by those on the night shift. It’s certainly a beautiful deed for the people who keep you safe at night.
FOR THOSE WHO DRIVE YOU AROUND.
They brave traffic and deal with drivers of all kinds just to bring you from one place to another. When you arrive at your destination, tell your driver about air-conditioned or well-ventilated places he can wait at. After your appointment, bring him a drink or snack for the road. And, once in a while, especially when your mall errands will take longer, treat them to a movie! It will be a good alternative to the tedium of hours spent waiting for you.
FOR THOSE YOU SHARE A GADGET WITH.
Everyone uses the iPad, but is only one person in-charge of cleaning it and charging it? Have the initiative to take care of your gadgets, especially shared ones. Giving your share of TLC for your gadgets ensures its longevity, too — saving you a bundle on repair or even replacement cost. Do these deeds for your cordless landline phones as well.
FOR THOSE IN CHARGE OF CHORES.
Our house help are often like superheroes. They do so much to save us every day. Be their hero several times a week by lessening the chores they have to attend to. Wash the coffee cup you just used. Set the table for dinner. Give your dog a bath. Clean your room. When you go out with friends, bring home a cupcake for your kasambahay. From the grocery, get them their favorite shampoo. And don’t forget to say thank you every time they do something for you.
FOR THOSE WHO REALLY MISS YOU.
Give your grandparents a call, especially if you do not see them often. Since you were born, they have been your biggest fans and that fact has not changed even if you are already in college or are employed. Make it more fun with a video call. If you can spend an hour surfing the Internet for something to read or like, you can spend an hour making your grandparents happier.
FOR THOSE WHO PAY THE BILLS.
Every little centavo off your electricity bill goes a long way. You need not pay or contribute to paying the bill to know you can always help lower it. Be conscious of appliances not in use, chargers plugged with gadgets already fully charged, and lights turned on but not needed. Know when ironing is scheduled in your home and make sure all the clothes you need for the week are already included. Check for appliances that do not need to be plugged in all the time — like your printer, and WiFi router.
FOR MOM AND DAD.
When your mom or dad is about to do some gardening, surprise them with an extra pair of hands and a bottle of sunblock! The list of kind deeds for parents is long: clean their running shoes, teach them a new smart phone app, take charge of the afternoon snack, or drive for them when they are scheduled to do the grocery. You know your parents best, whatever kind deed you have in mind will work wonders and bring a smile to their faces.