My alcoholic friend * gives me self help books all time. It is a lovely gesture really as she knows that I suffer from being slutty with the stress, but I often swirl my eyes round in their sockets behind her back because she is well, not recovered. I wonder if she lends these to me to just get rid of them or they really are helping her. I don't know, but anyway one of them was sitting in my book basket and since we do not have cable anymore and the library has been closed for days due to the storm I am about desperate for reading material. I read constantly. I am a read the cereal box kinda gal, the shampoo ingredient reading woman, every stupid medical pharmaceutical chart at the doctor lady...you get it.
Anyway this book was one of those "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" publications and I thought it was going to be dumb, but I actually got right into it & it had lots of good ideas. I kept thinking about the author though and wondering if he was actually so damn chill as he sounded, but that is like everything. Like with blogs...Do these people really do all this? Does yr home look so fricking tidy all the time? Are you a robot?
I digress...There was a section on Random Acts of Kindness.
The phrase "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" may have been coined by peace activist Anne Herbert I read somewhere. I recall hearing about it in Europe the summer I was 18. It was in the Hofbrau House in Germany. I was drinking large beers and chatting with these Danish folks about how I was from Southeastern Ohio and how I was sure they had never heard of it before. But as it would turn out they knew well of my geographical location as they were fans of High Times magazine and knew that Meigs County was where the world famous Meigs county gold marijuana was grown. Small world.
Anyhoo, they chatted with us and later when the evening became a blur the older of two told me not to forget to practice some random kindness in Europe. I might have thought that was a come on and he meant I should be a bit wild, but I kinda knew that he knew that I was a good soul and my travels would always involve searching and the heart.
It was soon after that when I started hearing about the idea of being kind for no reason other than being kind. It sounded so novel, but it really wasn't. My family taught me that, my mom was a food pantry volunteer for Christ's sakes. It just never clicked with me until around that age. I went through a wild kindness streak in college where I would pay tolls, give love freely, and secretly gift others. It felt good. I feel like I am due for some of that old goodness back in my life again. People are pissing me off left right and center, there are people I love that make no sense, and the world is scary place right now with Sarah Palin and all- I just need to focus. That little book last night started a small wheel turning. Random Kindness. Random Kindness. I am also going to apply this concept to myself. Now that is novel.