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Spreading Kindness

When I first saw the movie Pay It Forward, I was immensely inspired to practice random acts of kindness in my daily life.  Sometimes when I feel at my lowest and disconnected from others, I try to do something kind such as donating a bag of food to the food shelter or leaving a quarter in my shopping cart at Aldi’s for the next person to use.  Maddie and I love to be coupon fairies and leave coupons next to the corresponding product at the grocery store.  I know how great it feels to find a coupon left behind and to be the recipient of unexpected kindness, but I also know it feels even better to be the person who practices kindness, and suggest that you encourage your children to practice random acts of kindness.  

In August we celebrated the letter Q by going to the Q Kindness Café in St. Paul. It’s a wonderful little business district breakfast and lunch café.  The owners have filled the walls of the restaurant with inspirational pictures and quotes.  One thing I noticed was posters for each letter of the alphabet with a suggestion of kind acts.  I made up the following list to help you integrate kindness into your Alphabet Summer.  I found this website advertised at the Q Kindness Café - onekindact.com. The website advocates doing one kind act a day and gives wonderful suggestions.



We learned about another kindness effort in March 2010 when we visited the Ben's Bells Project in Tucson, Arizona.  Ben's Bells was created to spread kindness in honor of a little boy named Ben who died suddenly in 2002.  His family has chosen to honor his life by spreading kindness, by creating and painting wind chimes and delivering them around town every spring. 

Q Kindness Cafe
Aask “How are you doing?” and then really listen to the answer
B
– give up your seat on the bus to an elderly, disabled, or pregnant person
Ccount your blessings, call a friend or family member just to say hello
D donate unused clothing and toys to a thrift store
E – arrive early for an appointment or meeting
Fforgive someone for something that hurt you
G – write down five new things that you are grateful for every night in a gratitude journal
Hhelp someone carry something or hold the door open for someone
I – don’t interrupt when someone is talking
J – just be yourself
K –
practice random acts of kindness
L
– pick up litter when you see it
M - feed a parking meter to give someone a little extra time, help a friend pack for a move
N – bring your neighbor something you baked
Ooffer to clean a cat box or pick up your neighbor’s dog’s poop
Ppet a dog or cat with permission, draw someone a picture to brighten their day
Q –hang an inspirational quote on your bathroom mirror
Rreduce, reuse, and recycle; share your favorite recipe
Ssmile at a stranger, say “I’m sorry” when you’re wrong
T – say “Thank you” like you really mean it
U – thank the men and women in uniform
Vvolunteer at your church, hospital, soup kitchen, or animal shelter
Wwrite a thank you note to someone who has helped you
X  - set a good example
Y – Say “I Love You
Z – go to bed early and get lots of zzzzzzzzs so you have more energy to spread kindness

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