Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
Recently the family car broke down and we sat in the Lowe’s parking lot for Three-ish hours. A baby strapped to my back and my husband trying to figure out why our car won’t start people just walked by like it was nothing. A handful of people looked our way but immediately turned their head when we noticed them. One man stood by his truck for 5 minutes watching us struggle before he left.
In the world we live in today we are seeing less and less kindness. We are seeing people so self absorbed that they will turn away when something requires them to go above and beyond to simply be kind. Mark Twain hit it on the dot when he said the quote mentioned above. Kindness is a universal language, everyone understands it even children. This week I want to challenge you to make it a point to be kind with a week of kindness! I want to challenge you to simply not look away when you see someone in need even though it may be the slightest inconvenience to you.
DAY 1: Be Kind To Yourself
To begin this challenge I want to challenge you to be kind to yourself. The end goal is to be a kinder person in general and show kindness to people daily throughout this next week, and hopefully the rest of your life. To achieve that goal you have to learn to not be so hard on yourself. You need to learn to love yourself, and I know that is easier said than done. Being kind to yourself can mean something different for each person taking this challenge. For me it looks like washing my hair, doing my makeup, and cutting myself some slack when something goes wrong. If I am kinder to myself then I will be kinder to my son and to my husband.
DAY 2: Hold Your Tongue
After you spend a day being kind to yourself, I want to challenge you to be kind to those around you by holding your tongue. So often we are quick to speak and most of the time our words do more harm than good. If your spouse does something that annoys you, instead of snapping at him/her, breath, smile, and continue your day. Not only will it keep your from having some unnecessary fights but it will teach you to appreciate your spouse more.
Holding your tongue can look like many things. Another example I will give you is, Hold Your Tongue on Social Media!!!!!!! Social media is full of toxic behavior. People tear people down daily for not agreeing with them. Holding your tongue can be as simple as scrolling past that one political post that you don’t agree with or not posting whatever it is you want to post because you know it will start something.
DAY 3: Compliments
For day 3, I want you to take day 2’s challenge one step further, compliment people. Instead of being quite and holding your tongue I want you to build that person up. Instead of telling your husband/wife how annoying they are or how they are really irritating you at the current moment, take that time to tell them how much they mean to you. Kind words can change someones day more than you know.
DAY 4: Smile!
You have made it four days into this challenge so that should give you a reason to smile. A simple smile can be the kindest thing a person sees all day. Even in the hustle and bustle of your day you can still achieve this challenge. This may seem like the simplest challenge but honestly it can be hardest. Smiling is easy when we are happy or see someone we like but when we are having a bad day or see that person who wronged us the last thing we want to do is smile.
I used to work at a grocery store and at this specific store it was pretty much in the job description to smile, and boy was that hard. Even though it was hard to smile while I was emotionally not there, so many guests told me how much it brightened their day to go to this store because of how friendly the employees are/appear. So for day 4 I challenge you smile even when the day isn’t going your way.
DAY 5: Donate Your Time
Now that you have worked on being kind to yourself and being kind with your words, it’s time to donate time. Cook a meal for someone, let that mom friend have a day to herself and babysit her child, volunteer at a local homeless shelter. Donating your time doesn’t have to be some extravagant thing. I know I love it when my friends just come over to spend time with Joshua and I so that I am not cooped up at home alone and isolated, even if it is for just 10 minutes. Time is valuable and people appreciate it when someone makes time for them. Not only is it a kind gesture, it lets that person know that someone sees them.
Day 5, I want to challenge you to makes plans to do something for someone, or simply just keep your eyes open for someone who needs help. If you see someone with a broken down car see if there is anyway you can help. If you can’t ask how long they’ve been there and offer to get the water or a snack. Don’t ignore their problems, kindness speaks volumes but so does selfishness.
DAY 6: Pay It Forward
If someone has been kind to you and blessed you don’t let the blessing stop. For day 6 my challenge to you is to pay it forward today, be the blessing that someone isn’t expecting. Leave an extra five dollars at the drive through when you are picking up some Chick-Fil-A because that five dollars will help a family or a hungry college student that is behind you. Buy a coffee for that tired mom who posted on facebook at two in the morning that her child is deciding to play all night instead of sleep. There are so many ways to pay it forward that won’t break the bank, and if you don’t have the finances to pay it forward yet start a jar. Collect old change and put it in that jar to bless someone on a rainy day.
DAY 7: Reflect On This Past Week!
To end the week I want you to sit down and reflect on everything you did during this challenge and answer these questions. Feel free to answer them in the comments because I would love to know the answers but if you don’t feel comfortable with that then all I ask is that you take the time and answer them personally.
What opportunities did you see but decided not to take? Why?
What about this challenge opened your eyes and gave you a new outlook on how your actions were affecting others?
What could you have done differently?
Why did you choose to help the people you did?
Who do you think this challenge impacted more, you or the people you were kind to? Why?
February 12-18 is Random Acts Of Kindness Week and that is why I created this challenge. The world we live in needs to see more kindness, especially right now. The United States, as well as other countries are so enveloped in hate, anger, and self that random acts of kindness from loved ones and strangers are almost nonexistent. Through this challenge I want to bring kindness back! Be sure to share this challenge with your friends and family. Also, if you would like to track your challenge be sure to use the hashtags #BringingKindnessBack and #WeekOfKindness. Follow me @TheBrockBlog on Instagram to check out what I do for my week of kindness!