Monday, May 20, 2013

Random Acts of Kindness: BOSTON STRONG

It's been a little over a month since the tragedy at the Boston Marathon and the sad stories of lives lost, dreams shattered and lives that were changed forever continue to be shared. My heart breaks every time I read a story about an accomplished runner who lost a leg and now has to rebuild the pieces of their lives.

But even in this heavy existence of pain, suffering and uncertainty, one truth remains: The good people of this world will always, always outnumber the evil.

If you can look beyond the pain, past the suffering and away from the evil, you will always find the altruistic, the pure-hearted. Those that are driven by love, compassion, a sense of service and community that transcends all evil. Here are a few reminders of the light that exists even in the darkest of places. These unsolicited, selfless acts of kindness restore our faith in the goodness that exists in humanity, and more importantly, in each of us.

1) The 2013 Boston Marathon had many examples of heroism. Military troops ran the marathon in full gear, with packs that weigh 60 pounds. Right when the explosion went off, troops were seen running to the barricades and pulling them down to treat the wounded. Reportedly, many runners, upon completion of the 26.2 miles, kept running right to the hospital to donate blood. And thousands of local Bostonians immediately opened their homes to runners, their supporters and anyone displaced by the bombings.

2) On a frigid November night, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Officer Lawrence DePrimo of the NYPD bought new boots for a freezing homeless man he encountered in Times Square. Source

3) The staff of Humke Elementary School is teaching their students compassion through acts of kindness as a way of honoring the young lives lost at Sandy Hook in December. “One way you can battle acts of evil is with acts of kindness,” Don Krempleski, the school’s psychologist said. “We can make our world better through acts of kindness.” If every person in Humke Elementary including staff did one kind act each day, that would equate to 450 acts per day, he said. Students in first through third grades have reflected on an act of kindness they’ve performed every day at the end of class, said Keith Johnson, principal at Humke Elementary. The students then write about the act of kindness and draw a picture of it, which will be collected, bound and sent to Sandy Hook Elementary when classes resume after break in memory of the lives lost. Source

4) Even on a bloody battlefield, compassion is still alive and well. Afghan man offers tea to thirsty American soldiers. Source

5) These thoughtful parents went out of their way to offer up their compassion (and a sweet goody bag filled with candies and earplugs) to 400 of their fellow passengers on their first flight with their new twin baby boys. Source

6) Jett Moore (center) stands proudly with his Brook Hill Lower School kindergarten classmates, who volunteered to shave their heads in support of his battle against leukemia. Source

It doesn't have to take pain or tragedy to spark compassion. Random acts of kindness can (and should!) happen in our everyday lives. Make a concerted effort today to brighten someone else's day. The Butterfly Effect is real. When you do something kind and selfless for another person, they are immediately inspired to "pay it forward" and continue to spread the love. Start saying more please's and thank you's than necessary. Leave a nice note on someone's car. Remind your friends that they are beautiful. Hold doors for people. Spark up a conversation with a stranger. Be genuinely interested. Treat a homeless person to coffee or tea. Especially on those cold, dark nights when you have a warm bed to go home to.

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