In memory of her recently departed brother–in- law, one of my Facebook friends decided she was establishing a week of random acts of kindness. I loved this idea. What a great way to honor someone that has passed away and will be greatly missed.

Her first act happened, by chance, in the grocery store. My friend asked one of the employees, “Who could use a smile?” She was introduced to a young man who worked in the produce section. She gave this virtual stranger a hug and treated him to lunch. He was just some random guy who needed some kindness. Ten minutes after meeting him, she was back filling her cart with groceries when her new friend found her and handed her a thank you card. Her small, yet random act of kindness not only made this worker feel appreciated, but I’m sure it made my friend feel as if she were honoring her loved one.

All this thinking about random acts of kindness brought back a childhood memory for me. When my family would go on car trips, my father sometimes had a random act of kindness all his own. When our car would get to the toll booth (long before E-Z pass), my father would tell the toll booth attendant to charge him twice: once for him and once for the car behind us. The tollbooth attendant would need a moment to digest what my father was requesting, but after a second he understood. (I must add that my father had no idea who was behind us in the toll line.)

I was always so excited to see the faces of the passenger in the car behind us when they realized my dad had paid their toll. It was a mix of confusion, happiness, more confusion and delight. This random act of kindness not only made the passengers in the car behind us smile, it made my brother, sister and myself realize that a small act of unexpected kindness can have a huge impact on someone’s day.

I try often to go out of my way to smile or say hello to random people. I know when I get an unexpected act of kindness it makes my day a little brighter and so I try to do the same for others. However, this week of random acts of kindness got me thinking. Could I try and do something nice and unexpected for a stranger for an entire week? Would this be something achievable? The more I thought about it, the more I felt compelled to try. I realized not only would I possibly make someone I didn’t know smile, for even just a moment, but I would make myself smile also. I know when I do something for others (random or not) I always feel amazing: two for the price of one.

So, today is the first day of my week of random acts of kindness. It started in the post office. I had a box I needed to mail. I didn’t need any service since the box was a pre-paid one. All I needed to do was drop it with the postmaster. The line was three people long and I could tell I had a few minutes to do nothing but wait. I must admit, inside I was a little frustrated since all I needed to do was drop off the package, but I knew the wait wouldn’t be forever. I saw a woman heading over to the line and instead of making her get behind me, I stepped back and let her get in front of me. She looked at me with a question on her face and said really? I just shook my head and smiled and she smiled back. It really wasn’t a big deal and maybe it added 4 minutes to my wait, but the benefits of this little act of kindness was worth it. As my new friend left she gave me a big smile and said, “Have a great day” and I think I just might.

After two years of working on my eating habits, my attitude, and me, I realize one of the greatest gifts I can give myself is to give to others. The happiness I feel inside is indescribable. Now I wish I were like Bill Gates and I could give away millions. What a great feeling that must be, but the truth is random acts of kindness probably feel equally amazing. Along with clean eating and positive attitude, helping others is vital to making me feel alive and complete. Maybe a week of acts seems overwhelming to you, but try a day and tell me the benefits aren’t amazing? Along with a salad and self-love, try a random act of kindness. I’m sure the health benefits of making someone else smile are huge. Feel free to share your acts with me and remember, no act is ever too small.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Burger left her Wall Street job exhausted and overweight with a determination to find a better way of living and get that sexy confident feeling back. And did she! Now as a AADP Certified Holistic Health Coach at Greenspiration, she works with clients who are trying to lose weight and find a way to better health - physically and emotionally. Get her free gift ‘Five Steps to Getting YOUR Sexy Back’ at http://www.greenspiration.me/.