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Random Acts of Kindness

  • Published
  • By Annie Niece
  • 43rd Airlift Wing Protocol
I believe in random acts of kindness. I believe that reaching out, lending a hand and giving from the heart without an expectation of return is the greatest gift of all. 

Everyday opportunities present themselves to us. Opportunities to volunteer our time, donate money or share our talents. We need to meet those challenges head on. 

Several years ago I overheard two young people talking while they were volunteering their time to set up for an event. The one young person told the other he was going to leave, and the response from his friend was, "You haven't been here long enough for a bullet." It made me wonder if we give for the right reasons. 

I had to ask myself if we have gotten so far out of touch with our fellow man that we no longer give because it is the right thing to do. Must we always be recognized for everything we do? As always, the answer was not far away. 

A senior airman who worked for me returned from temporary duty to another country. He came into my office on his first day back to tell me about one of his experiences during the TDY. One of the things he told me about was the homeless children of the country. 

They live in the streets or on the beaches, with no adults to protect or care for them. All they had was each other. There were tears in his eyes as he told me how small and young they were and that most were no older than his own daughter. He told me how the children would wait outside of restaurants waiting for the people to leave and then would eat the food left on their plates. He told me that he and the others would always order extra food and leave it behind. He and his friends sorted through their clothing the night before they left. They took the clothes they didn't need for the trip home and left them where the children would find them. 

The look in his eyes and the sound of his voice told me they did this for the right reason. These troops would never see an enlisted performance report bullet, nor will they receive a letter of appreciation or certificate from the commander. This is a random act of kindness -- a gift of the heart. 

Now, you are probably thinking that if I was in that situation, I would have done that, too. If I ever get to a country such as this, I will help to do great things for others. But chances are, I will never get to do something like this. 

The truth is, opportunities to give present themselves everyday, you just have to open your heart and you will find them. 

Mother Teresa once said, "We can do no great things. Only small things with great love." 

Give some flowers to your spouse just to say thanks for being there, put a pan of fresh cold water outside for the birds during the heat wave, a smile, a kind word, a pat on the back or a hug on a bad day to just let someone know you care. Only you limit the list.
Look in your heart and see what difference you can make in someone's life today. It doesn't have to be grand, just a kindness from the heart. Imagine what the world would be like if everyone practiced just one random act of kindness each day.