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Week of random acts of kindness promotes community

Written by Janet Wang

Published in the November 6th, 2015 issue

Everyone has the ability to impact people’s lives through acts of kindness, no matter how big or small. Doing random acts of kindness results in a win-win situation that increases happiness in both the giver and receiver. The approaching Thanksgiving season inspired me to dedicate my time to becoming more generous and compassionate. I made a pledge to do one random act of kindness every day for a week to brighten someone’s day.

On Monday, I wrote positive messages like “You are worthy,” “You can
do it” and “You are loved” on sticky notes. I put these up in the locker room, walkways and anywhere I thought people would notice them. As I put each of these notes up, I felt warm and fuzzy on the inside knowing that someone would read them and feel uplifted. It was especially encouraging when I saw that one of my friends, not knowing I wrote the notes, had posted a picture of my Post-It on her Snapchat story with a heart emoji.

That night, I cut up colored cards into little notecards and addressed each one to different friends. On the other side, I wrote an appreciation message and described the positive influence they have on my life. On the front, I attached candy as a treat to add to the message. When I handed them out to my friends on Tuesday, their faces lit up. In that moment, I felt so thankful that I had these people to support me. I realized that my little message was only a small fraction of my appreciation for them.

On Wednesday, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and talk to someone I usually don’t talk to. During a club at lunch, I sat next to a guy who I had never before seen around campus. We were paired to do a reading activity together, and I was pretty nervous since he was older than me. However, we finished early, so I mustered up the courage to talk to him about general things like our classes and the club. I also got to know about his hobbies and interests such as soccer and writing. Even though our conversation was pretty short, I noticed that he had a great sense of humor and was kind. When I left the classroom at the end of lunch, I was inspired to talk to more people and get to know them better because everyone is unique  in their own way.

For Thursday, I wrote more positive Post-It notes. This time, I placed them in locations most frequented by students—the library and Academic Center (AC). In the li- brary, I placed Post-Its on the book covers and near the computers. In the AC, I slipped the notes into math and science textbooks. I hoped that someone who was having a stressful study night or just wanted a good read would be encouraged by my notes.

With Halloween approaching, I thought it would be a nice idea to make goodie bags filled with candy for Friday. On Thursday night, I stuffed jack-o-lantern-printed pouches with candies such as Sour Patch and Kit-Kats. I wanted to spread some sweetness around campus just before the holiday. The following morning, I handed out goodie bags to friends and strangers who walked by. Some were confused about why I handed them a Halloween-themed pouch, but I hoped that they would be cheerful once they discovered what was inside.

 

Throughout this week, I experienced nothing but positive emotions and thoughts from giving to others. I felt better than ever when I did a random act of kindness because I knew that I could leave an impact. At the end of my experience, I realized that being generous and loving towards someone makes you a happier person. The feeling is truly indescribable when you brighten someone’s day. I encourage everyone to do an act of kindness today be- cause making someone else’s day makes you happier.

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