"Can I please pay for the guy behind me?" It is always amusing to see the expression of a drive-thru employee when I ask that question. Some act surprised; others have clearly heard that request before. It doesn't get old to me, however.
For 21 days, I challenged myself to perform a random act of kindness every day. Some days were much more difficult than others to come up with an idea. I realized you have to look around you and be empathetic to the needs of others. The first random act was obvious. It was a 100 degree day and I drove by a road crew working up a sweat on the black pavement. As soon as I spotted a gas station, I grabbed a bunch of ice cold Push-Up Pops and drove them back. The gal who grabbed them said, "Seriously?" I just smiled.
The next day I was even more motivated to help others. When they (whoever they are) say kindness is contagious – I now get it. I would wake up every morning and ask myself, what can I do today? Even better, what can my family do?
I solicited the help of my toddler putting together toiletry bags for the less fortunate. We also left quarters on the seats of kids' rides and at air and water pumps around town. We left small gas gift cards at gas stations. I even helped a stranger search for her wedding ring, which she thought she dropped in a drainage ditch. Acts of kindness don't have to be extreme, over-the-top or expensive. It could be opening the door for someone, leaving nice notes on your co-workers' cars, even complimenting a passerby.
No one knows this better than a local man who's made it his mission to spread kindness. Brian Williams started Think Kindness, a non-profit that works to inspire others to be good to each other. Think Kindness is responsible for collecting and bringing thousands of shoes to African kids and raising money for Life Straws to provide the less fortunate with clean drinking water. Brian and his board of directors now hope to inspire random acts of kindness around the globe.
"Our goal as an organization is to document over a million random acts of kindness. So we have 10,000 cards that we are sourcing out in Reno," says Williams.
You can't miss them. They are lime green with a 12 digit number in a white box on front. Once you receive one, log onto www.kindnesscards.com and type in the card number, then log the random act of kindness you received. The hope is you will pay it forward with a random act of your own – and don't forget to include the card.
You can receive one of these cards at Think Kindness events, which you will find at www.thinkkindness.org or by simply being the recipient of a random act.
Channel 2 is teaming up with Think Kindness. Professional athletes are as well. To meet one, check out my Facebook page at KTVN Kristen Remington.