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Kindness should be everyday act

If all the entries in my calendar for this week were not enough to remind me of the many special events coming, the almanac for the week ahead on one of my favorite Sunday morning shows certainly did the trick.

Among the highlights: Tuesday’s Mardi Gras celebration, Wednesday’s observance of Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday and Friday’s marking of the start of the Chinese new year.

I also learned that this week includes National Clean Out Your Computer Day (Monday), National Do a Grouch a Favor Day (Friday) and National Wine Day (Sunday).

But what I’m most excited about is Saturday’s observance of National Random Acts of Kindness Day.

Setting aside a single day to be kind to others is a great idea. Hopefully, it is more of a reminder of things you already do than a reminder that you need to do something to be more kind.

I think, though, it is the randomness factor that adds great appeal to the observance. Unexpected acts, no matter how big or small, are generally more appreciated.

There is even a foundation devoted to random acts of kindness. The nonprofit believes the power of kindness can change the world and the way people see it. It’s kind of like a giant rose-colored filter for life.

Not only does the foundation recognize Saturday as a day to be kind to others, but it designates the entire week to help bring more kindness to others.

Ways to be kind are plentiful. They can be simple or complex and seem limited only by one’s imagination. The easiest thing to do is just smile at someone.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation does offer a few suggestions. Among them, set your alarm to go off three times on kindness day. When it does, call, text or email someone to tell them how awesome they are or to offer a compliment.

As a fan of sticky notes, I especially like this idea: Write an uplifting note and place it in a random place such as inside a library book, on the mirror in a restroom or on someone’s computer screen.

These random acts of kindness often tie into or mimic the pay it forward movement, which has people repaying a debt or good deed to someone other than the original benefactor. It’s a concept that dates back to ancient Greece, though it has been forgotten and reincarnated many times since then.

Back in 2014, 378 people literally paid it forward during an 11-hour period at a Starbucks in Florida by paying for the order of the person behind them. It happens quite frequently at the nationwide coffee chain.

Certainly being on either the giving or the receiving end of such acts would be enough to bring a smile to one’s face.

The foundation also reminds us to be kind to ourselves. One way to do this is take five minutes to watch an uplifting video. Here in Boulder City, you could also take a few moments to step outside, enjoy the sunshine, visit a park or take a quick walk.

The phenomenon is not limited to residents of the United States. Nov. 13 has been designated as World Kindness Day.

While it’s a wonderful concept, the truth is there shouldn’t have to be day or a week set aside to be kind to others. We all could use a bit more kindness in our lives.

So, in the spirit of National Random Acts of Kindness Day, here’s a smile : ) and a friendly note to let you know you are awesome.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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