Last Sunday night I tweeted out to all of my 132 Twitter followers this wonderful, original idea:
Unbeknownst to me Ann Curry tweeted it out that morning and it goes viral.
I hate to be so cliché as to say great minds think alike.
But they do.
And I hate to say I thought Ann Curry stole my idea.
But I did.
Just sitting around thinking about:
Sandy Hook Elementary
Topeka Law Enforcement Officers David Gogian and Jeff Atherly and
the 145 homicides in Kansas City metro this year
Someone much smarter than myself needs to figure it out.
It’s bigger than just gun control.
And it’s more than just about mental health services.
And when it comes down to it, it may be as simple as being kind to one another and respecting life.
And I’m not just talking about unborn babies here.
We all could be a little more kind.
So, I wanted to try to do 26 random acts of kindness.
I picked very simple things.
Because I think it’s supposed to be about doing simple things.
My first act was to walk all around my neighborhood on trash day.
I picked up the neighbor’s empty recycling bins and returned them to their porch.
I felt a little odd walking into people’s yards and onto their porches.
I thought someone might holler at me.
Not “holla” like, “Hey giiiirl! Thanks for that random act of kindness.”
Because that would have been awesome.
But holler at me because being on someone’s property and picking up their recycling bin in some neighborhoods is neighborly.
But I don’t live in that neighborhood.
Next, excitedly, I headed to a laundromat loaded down with five dollars in quarters in an effort to pay for loads and loads of laundry!
Five dollars in quarters seems like a lot for someone who never has a dime in change.
I approached two older ladies and proudly told them. “Hi! I’m Lisa! I would love to pay to wash a load of your laundry.”
I happily dug into my pocket and took out the handful of quarters. I boldly counted out one dollar for each of them.
They were appreciative but commented that it costs over four dollars to wash.
In college, it was fifty cents to wash and I swear we used dimes to dry.
And before you say it, it wasn’t an old wringer washer and a clothes line, OK?
The ladies were very kind and overlooked that I underestimated the effect of inflation on the whole laundromat racket.
I gave them both two dollars in quarters and they appreciated that I was able to pay for about half a load each.
And I got a hug out of the deal.
The only other customer there was on the phone the whole time and didn’t hear my proclamation that I was going halfsies on one load of laundry, for everyone!
She seemed grateful I dropped four quarters in her hand.
I apologized and humbly suggested she could maybe buy a snack with that.
Next, I ran into CVS, bought microwaveable bags of popcorn, added a couple free movie codes and taped it on Redbox machines around town.
A cute idea I got from Malia.
If you have a cute name like that, it’s expected you come up with cute ideas like this.
I hope it’s still considered a random act of kindness if you wait in your car and watch to see if anyone takes the popcorn.
Or say, if you drive back by all the Redbox machines later to see if anyone has taken the popcorn.
That’s not stalking. It’s curiosity.
Maybe I want to do Random, Yet Curious Acts of Kindness.
That’s a thing now, Ann Curry.
But don’t you dare try to tweet that out.
While I was in that CVS I picked up a couple chocolate Santas.
I approached two separate people in the parking lot and attempted to give them a little chocolate Santa.
Both of them claimed to be diabetic.
Maybe their random act of kindness was to fake a chronic disease so they would not have to say it’s creepy for an adult woman to hand out candy in a parking lot.
I drove a block or so and found two junior high boys walking by themselves home from school and slowed down to offer them the Santas.
Then it occurred to me that this is also creepy.
So I drove away, pulled over and just ate those Santas myself.
That way, everyone is safe.
My next mission was to approach some people at bus stops (not school bus stops) and pay for their bus fare.
This idea came from one of my friends, Erika.
She jokingly encouraged me to do it like this,
“Yeah, just approach them and say something like, ‘Hey, Sailor, where ya headed? Need a ride? I’m buying.’ ”
I did not do that.
It was more like this:
I rolled up and asked whoever pulled out their iPod earbuds for me, “How much is the bus fare?”
“The bus, what?”
“Fare? A bus ride. A trip on the bus.”
“A dollar fifty.”
I handed out Christmas cards with a couple bucks and told them it was on me.
I promised myself if I ran across anyone that remotely looked like a sailor I would use Erika’s line.
Apparently, all sailors have shipped out.
Or have cars.
Throughout the whole day, I tried to smile a lot and say hello to almost everyone I came in contact with.
This is a rip-off compared to the other acts.
I’m not going to lie.
I’ve been told my polite smile may sometimes comes off as a smirk.
But I got a lot of positive feedback by doing my random acts of kindness.
In total I spent less than $20.
Clearly, the recipients were pleased with just the effort of doing something nice and not the money they gained from it.
So, I’m going to try to keep this up.
And I encourage you to do the same.
Check out my Facebook page for all the ideas my friends gave me.
Share your random act of kindness here or on Twitter #20acts.
Yeah, I know, that’s Ann Curry’s hashtag, not mine.