Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness 1

Do you remember this post I wrote awhile ago about the lovely lady who shared her umbrella with me as I walked to my son's school? I thought it was such a lovely gesture and since then it's been on my mind to find ways to commit my own random acts of kindness (RAOK). I've really been trying to think of something that I could do that I wouldn't feel hugely uncomfortable about. I'm not a very social person, so to those people who do nice things for strangers? I salute you. I am not that brave. (Yet.)

As I'm hoping to make this a very regular occurrence, I really wanted to ease myself into this whole thing gently. So for my first attempt, I decided to look up the amazon wishlists of some bloggers I know (but with whom I wouldn't normally send books). A few of them had books on their lists that I had already read and no longer needed, so I've posted some books from their wishlists to them. I feel very lucky to be able to afford a lot of books, to be sent a lot of books and to generally own many books. As I rarely re-read books, it's nice to clear up some space on my shelves, send these books off to good homes and hopefully put the smile on the faces of the book bloggers who make me happy. I don't expect anything in return.

And for my next project, again, I'm not really sticking to the whole 'random' at all. I love that my readers are worldwide, and after being inspired by a post by Tammy at The Book Fairy's Haven and after being reminded about it by Fiona at Life, Lyrics and Lemoncake, I decided to create the form below. I thought it'd be nice to send people a random postcard now and again. (Do you know that I collect postcards from around the world?) I love recieving postcards, I love the idea of someone somewhere writing down a few thoughts and thinking of me. So I'd like to do the same for you.

I'll buy some England-inspired postcards, write down a few thoughts about my day and post them to you. If that's something that you'd be interested in recieving and you don't mind me having your address (I promise I'll keep that information safe and will not use it for any other purposes!) then fill out the form below. Depending on the number of people who are interested, I might not get around to all of you all at once, but I shall do my best.

Already I feel really good about this whole project and I'm looking forward to spreading some kindness around.


  1. Well, I certainly benefited from your wishlist act of kindness - thank you! I LOVE the postcard idea. I have a stack of postcards that I randomly send out to friends and family for no reason at all and they are always appreciated. I think that these days, with so much of our communication done via a computer, it is particularly lovely to get a handwritten note through the post.

  2. the postcard idea is fab. also i've seen online etc that people have left nice notes or inspiring thoughts on post its inside library books or books in shops in the hopes of brightening people's day!

  3. Sya - You're welcome, it was my pleasure! And I finished Love is the Higher Law the other day. AWW. Thanks for that.

    I like the idea of sending random postcards. I'd never considered sending to family though (the idea seems so obvious now that you've mentioned it) It doesn't take much and they're so much nicer than a text or an email. (or tweet!) Right?

    Laura - I'll be doing that as well! I just feel a little suspicious doing that in bookstores which is why I've put it off for at least a month. But it is something nice and simple to do and it's definitely random! I won't be able to see any reaction to how people will recieve my notes. Very good suggestion.

  4. awww this is such a sweet idea! You are a lovely person! I hope you make lots of people smile with your postcards! :) x

  5. Clover, you're amazing! That is all. :)

  6. I have also benefited from your random act of kindness and I can't thank you enough. You have surpassed yourself with the things you have done for me recently, that I am not sure how I will ever repay you.

    Did you know about the international postcard crossing site?

  7. Such a wonderful idea! I would love a postcard from you, and of course I would send a Texas one right back to ya!

  8. What a lovely idea :)

  9. I entirely agree with Luisa!

    I think this is such a lovely idea, and I love the idea of sending postcards randomly to friends and family. Consider me inspired!

  10. I love this idea! I'm a big fan of the Random Acts of Kindness thing and next weekend I'm spending a whole day with my best friend completing a bunch of different RAOK. We're taking firefighters cookies, leaving an umbrella at a bus stop, giving out starbucks giftcards and lottery tickets, putting change in parking meters and vending machines, giving homeless people toiletry kits, etc. Good luck with the postcard idea!

  11. Raimy - Thank you :) I hope so too!

    Luisa - *blushes*

    Viv - No repayment necessary! I really haven't done that much at all.

    I hadn't heard of that website! Thank you for linking it :)

    Becca - Thank you, wonderful :)

    TSB - I'm glad people are liking the idea :)

    Jenni - I'm so glad to hear that!!

    Avid Reader - wow, you are such a wonderful RAOKer :) It is inspiring and it urges me onwards to do more things! :)

  12. I think you're so generous and lovely to be doing these kind of things :)
    I love finding things inside of secondhand books and I've been collecting these 'found'artifacts for a few years now.I have old family photos and tickets etc,I find it fascinating!
    I notice you've added 'Choker'to your recently read list,what did you think of it?Did you see the twist coming?

  13. You're so cool! This is such a great idea! I think I might try and do something similar! :)

  14. A couple of truly wonderful ideas! There is nothing necessarily better about random acts of kindness than well planned out acts of kindness though ;) I hope these projects are as fulfilling to you as they seem to be to your grateful recipients.

  15. Hayley - Thank you. It's always nice doing nice things for others.

    I have recently read Choker! I think I may have emailed you already about it.. :)

    Jo - YAY! It'll be so much fun :)

    Kenny - Do you think so? I was worried that I'm limiting my acts of kindness to the small circle of people that I know and I'd like to broaden that somehow. But it has been very rewarding already. I feel better about myself.

  16. Wow, sorry I took so long to respond! I meant for my comment to be humorous, as people usually prefer well planned acts to random ones. However, your point about these acts affecting your currents circle of acquaintances is a valid point.

    I would argue that these are actually the people it is most important to perform unexpected acts of kindness towards, as they make up so much more of our world than any given stranger. If it is your goal to make new acquaintances, then random acts of kindness might be in order, but if they are intended to be "drive-by philanthropy," then it is my personal opinion that spending your generosity on your own circle is more fruitful, as it will continue to pay dividends to the both of you as you continue to associate with each other. But, that is just my point of view, and I have always been a wildly personal person.


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