Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Acts of Random Kindness (Random Acts of Kindesss Day, February 17)


A cherub in front of Sto. Nino Cathedral, Cebu

To look at the world from my eyes is like looking through a kaleidoscope. It is a world of fun, color and possibilities. People ask me how I manage to do that. They ask me if I’m so na├»ve to see the world for what it really is. Yeah, I could do that. I used to be a pessimist. I could drown myself with sorrow and despair I know will get me nowhere or choose to think that something positive is always out there that drives me forward. I take light of things and have no big expectations. The last thing this world needs is another ounce of negativity.

Among the rainbow colored days, I am only human. There are times, either outside looking in or inside looking out and I see things that make me weary. It maybe the rain, the time of the month or a souvenir of a terrible incident that affects my perception of the world yet I’m not so quick to give up on it as little surprises here and there and small wonders pop-up to save the day. 



I was once trapped in a storm, under a makeshift shed that poured more water in than it kept out. Guess what?! That day got worse as a car passed hurriedly which soaked me in a wave of sewer water. A kind old woman selling candies saw what happened and offered her “trapal” vinyl material which she used as raincoat. I couldn’t possibly let her take it off her back and accept the offer because that would mean she would end up cold and wet. I could have easily sunk to the lowest of lows and cursed my way to the bottom. I remembered having watched the movie “Evan Almighty” starring Steve Carell, wherein God (played so cool by Morgan Freeman) stressed the ARK as an acronym for act of random kindness. The movie left a positive note luckily reserved for such a day where everything was swamped with glitches and I thought couldn’t get any worse. I was touched by the old woman’s gesture and chose that to uplift me. I felt a warm tingle all-over, I couldn’t explain. All of a sudden I felt like doing a Gene Kelly, to dance and sing in the rain.

I also remember a time, getting lost and alone in Malaysia when a complete stranger offered some assistance. That stranger is now a friend. Thanks to him, this foreign place that started out as a lonely planet experience is engraved in memory as a familiar wonderful adventure. This day and age, kindness is rare and sometimes suspicious in nature but these random acts of kindness shown toward me gave me pleasant surprises that revive my hopes in this world. Kindness still exists.

Front door detail, Manila Cathedral
Angelina Jolie found herself as U.N. ambassador to help in 3rd world issues, Brad Pitt excavated a deep rooted passion for architecture as he helped build homes for victims of hurricane Katrina, Oprah built schools in Africa, Leonardo Di Caprio went green for climate change awareness and the list goes on. They are doing their share to heal the world with grace and kindness. These A-listers have transcended beyond their hierarchy of needs that they have arrived at a stage where they have now a need for cause. Their acts of kindness are on a large scale because they can but, what of us who want to make this world a better place yet limited to a stage where we have nothing yet to offer, nothing financial to spare?

The old woman and the stranger were also great models of kindness. To do something in kind may greatly affect someone, somehow, somewhere and the chain of positivism continues well onto a grander scheme of things. A little thing can make a big difference. Although we will never know exactly how far our gesture meant and went, we will feel the difference because the world will present itself in a whole new light.

I’ve come across a poem in Dr.Seuss like fashion that I’d like to share. This sums up my feelings towards simple acts of random kindness.

Title: Smile
What a beautiful day
The sun said “hi!”
I couldn’t think of any reason
Any reason why
Not to return the greeting
That set my spirit high
In response, I said, ”My oh my!
Thank God for another day,
Thank God for another try.”
I went on walking, out where I could see
Lots of people with whom to share my glee
They asked me
Why I had such a big smile on
I answered,
It’s a gift from me to you
That’s what God sent me to do
It was contagious you know
Every person that I have passed
Have been passing smiles along
It turned into a chain
Until the world was rid of pain
At least, for a day
Oh what a smile can do!

I speak so passionately about living life even if the world seems inhospitable at times because I’ve been through the trenches and back enough times to learn that kindness is a weapon. A smile, holding the door for someone, a good pat on the back, hold a friend’s hand, send a smiley sms, these acts of kindness may not be as grandiose as some philanthropists have shared. Small as it may seem but crucial just the same. It helps to have the means and the celebrity to make this world a better place but it only takes a simple act of kindness to keep us and this wonderful world from self-destructing. Imagine if all of us woke up armed with a smile and with the intention of doing even just one nice thing… this would be a whole new world.


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Random Acts of Kindness day is celebrated in many countries and in fact there is a global movement raising this important day to everyone's consciousness.

Learn more about RAK. Visit these links: 


Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward
Random Acts of Kindness Acts of Random Kindness February 17 Kindness Altruism Paying Forward

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