Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, a day to be mindful of ways we can reach out and be kind to others. The tradition started in 2004 by the lovely (and presumably extra-kind) people of New Zealand.
It is a special day in particular to me because my parents are being honored at Rollins College for their lifetimes of service and kindness. My dad passed away in October 2019 at the age of 91, and he is most often remembered for how nice he was. If he spotted someone doing something kind or helpful on the college campus where he was President, he would hand that person a silver dollar.
On a family car trip once with all five Seymour kids, he thanked the highway road crew whose construction project had caused our old station wagon to idle for hours in traffic. “Thanks for the delay, fellas!” he shouted as we drove by. (He denied this, saying he had thanked them for their hard work, but either way, that’s just NICE.) He used to say “it’s the things that go without saying that need to be said.” So, tell someone something that you assume they already know and don’t need to be told – because they DO need to be told. Thank your work colleague who came in to the ladies room when you were crying and offered a shoulder and a Kleenex. Tell the cashier how pretty her manicure is, ask the bank teller where she got her adorable reading glasses. Let people know you SEE them, they matter, and then be kind to them.
I wanted to do something here in North Carolina to celebrate RAK day, so in memory of my dad and in honor of my mom, I am partnering with Amy and Galen Foresman, the new owners of the Green Bean in downtown Greensboro.
Head on down to the Green Bean and enjoy a free cup of coffee or $2 off a drink, and then please go do something nice for someone else – you might end up feeling so dang happy that you thank someone for causing a delay!
Here are some additional ideas on ways you can be kind today – or any day: