I try and do one daily random act of kindness.
Most days it’s nothing big (holding the door for someone. helping a stranger carry groceries to her car.) & I admit the helpers high *I* get is a strong motivating factor.
That and watching the surprise and joy on the other person(s) face when she realizes something has been done for her without expectation of anything in return.
Following in the
footsteps Facebook status updates of many, I decided to do 44 RAOKs in honor of my birthday tomorrow.
Following in Jewish tradition (the highest level of giving being anonymous) I havent shared my RAOK’ing process—except for today.
And only today because I ended up giving away what I r-e-a-l-l-y wanted to KEEP.
Which, I realize, is the point of the 44 random acts of kindness (giving freely) and a kinda big indicator Im a little bit of a selfish misfit at heart.
But Im getting ahead of myself.
A few months back I blogged about seeing this GOLD-man on the streets of Oakland:
I spied him as I sat outside my office and seemed to be the *only* one who noticed him.
- I asked my Oakland expert if she knew his ‘story’ & she’d never heard of him.
- I asked the husband to poll his people at Pandora & none of them had heard of him.
- I asked around the playgroundparents & none of them had ever seen my guy in gold.
I began to wonder if he were a vision of sorts.
Something only I could see. (<—-which is a post for a different day. maybe when we have coffee?)
And then Monday, as I walked to work, I spotted GoldMan ambling ahead of me.
He stopped, parked his GoldBike, and stood outside a coffee shop.
As I walked past I longed to ask what his story was…why all the GOLD…if he purchases new balloons daily or if they’re given to him etc.
He, in turn, spotted my backpack, perhaps sensed a kindred spirit (?), and shouted he liked the colorful spikes.
In true misfit fashion I seized this as a sign to stop and chat.
And I did.
After a lengthy conversation — one I feel intuitively is not mine to share — I told him I wished I had something to give him but I had nothing on me.
(I opened my
freakflag backpack so he could see it was, indeed, empty. He then informed me he had 20.00, needed 40.00 for a hotel room, but now thought he should share the 20.00 with me.)
And then I remembered I had my strength to give.
Wrapped around my wrist was the giving keys bracelet Id purchased & planned, when I was ‘finished’ with it, to pass on to someone else.
And I knew–as much as I wasnt ready to part with my strength–it was time.
Im woman enough to admit it was with a selfish heavy-heart (& a mind already pondering purchasing a HOPE pendant) I slipped off the bracelet, showed him how to re-size & told him it was really all I had to give.
He considered the key in its semi-almost gold state, put it on, and cycled off on his GOLDENway.
I was left pondering the point of my forty-four random acts of kindness when it really was only this where I gave of something which really ‘cost’ me anything: time and something–however superficial—I treasured.
- Have you done the birthday RAOK? What act was most powerful to you?
- Do you feel RAOK are more powerful when continuous & intentional not merely kindness scattered haphazardly?
The Giving Keys is an amazing group who works with the homeless offering them jobs to aid them in their transition out of homelessness. This is not a sponsored ANYTHING and I urge you to check them out.