Brunch Line Donor:
We spend money almost every day, but we rarely spend it on people other than ourselves. It was a new experience for me to willingly give away my money to complete strangers. I never thought that it would be so rewarding to pay for random students at the brunch line, but I was pleasantly surprised at the rush of joy I felt as I handed out each dollar. Five dollars in today’s world is such a small amount and even though it seemed daunting for me to pay that amount to people I didn’t know, giving just one dollar to someone meant so much. I received overwhelming gratitude from the students that benefited from my act of kindness. I was hugged and profusely thanked after the initial looks of surprise on their faces. With my action I made an instant connection with people I would normally pass in the halls without a glance.
Batch of warmth:
Everybody loves food, right? This is the question I kept asking myself as I awkwardly lugged a giant box of fifty chocolate chip cookies to my first class period. In an attempt at a random act of kindness, I decided to surprise my photography class with a sugary treat in the morning. Walking from class to class I was caught off guard by the number of questions I accrued. Most of my fellow peers automatically assumed I had lost a class vocabulary game and was carrying out my punishment. In fact, I felt dejected when most people responded to my explanation that I was just trying to do a good deed with a confused stare and an awkward chuckle. Nevertheless, I didn’t let their obvious confusion faze me. After all, I was the bearer of treats and therefore received many compliments. I held my head high and I have to admit, my class’ thankfulness made me feel great about myself. Walking into class, I informed my teacher that I brought cookies to share with the class and she informed the class that they were up for grabs. Everyone was incredibly gracious and their “thank you’s” warmed my heart. In my experience, the random act of kindness didn’t just affect other people, but I also felt a sense of joy in the act of giving. Although, I wouldn’t encourage bringing baked goods to make people like you, an act of kindness can truly bring a feeling of contentment and happiness.
A hand to the homeless:
For my act of kindness, I decided to head to downtown Palo Alto and give a homeless woman twenty dollars. It was important for me to help out a fellow woman like myself because I do understand that there are some things that need to be bought monthly that truly add up over time. I found a woman after walking around and asked if she would accept my gift. The glow on her face lit the entire street. I felt so rewarded after this act, more than I would have felt if I had just used that money myself. I really encourage anyone to help others in need. It not only makes you feel great, but also it will make their day, maybe even their week. You never know how much a small good deed affects the person you are helping.
Two weeks ago, I purchased a pair of candy grams from an eager sophomore with the intention of sending them to two of my friends. However, when I realized that one of the would-be recipients had an A period prep and thus couldn’t get one, I decided to be bold. Instead of sending the candy gram to another friend, I would send it to a stranger to brighten his or her day. I selected one student at random; it turned out to be a freshman girl, and I wrote her a friendly, anonymous message, wishing her “Happy Halloween.” I submitted the gram to the box in the SAC and off it went.
I will never know what she thought of it, but I imagine I would be pretty happy if someone randomly sent me a bucket of candy. But, what’s great about my anonymous act of kindness is that since I can’t know how she actually reacted, I get to make up my own vision of her reaction. And I like to think that she loved the candy and smiled when the candy gram deliverers called her name. I will never get anything material in return–not even a thank you, but instead what I got was a warm feeling of making somebody else just a little bit happier, even if just for a few minutes. It’s surprising how doing something selfless for someone else can be make you feel so much better.