February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day (Random Acts of Kindness Week falls February 14-20)! This day highlights unplanned, heartfelt acts of altruism where individuals or groups can “pay it forward” to others. It can be something simple like giving a compliment, holding a door, or paying for someone’s cup of coffee; it can also be grand, like giving a donation, volunteering time, or helping someone in immediate need.
The event name is derived from a quote from Anne Herbert, who in 1982 wrote “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a placemat. Ms. Herbert was an American author and journalist who published a book named after the quote before passing away in 2015. The idea has been popularized in media, education institutions, and communities alike.
Especially in this time of high stress, taking care of yourself and others is imperative. Participating in giving and receiving random acts of kindness can positively impact mood, relationships, foster hope, and a sense of connectedness when so many of us are feeling so far apart. Acts of kindness can be witnessed or not, but as long as the energy and feeling behind the actions you take come from a place of love and kindness, proceed! (see graphic above for some suggestions)
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has cool materials to share for this event, like calendars, posters, coloring pages, videos and more. You can also search for kindness suggestions by subject, such as children, animals, at work or at school. Provided are suggestions on tips to use all year round. Check out this additional list of 101 Random Acts of Kindness, and come up with some of your own. Carve out a few minutes to pass along a bit of kindness today!