Purposeful Acts of Kindness

Today I began a new decade of my life. The last time I celebrated a decadal birthday, a friend of mine secretly solicited letters from many of my family members and friends and put them all together in a binder for me. I still treasure that collection of letters written ten years ago, especially the ones from my parents and a cousin, who are no longer living.

For this year’s birthday celebration, I’m adapting (and adopting) an idea which I read recently in a magazine. As I recall, the author of the story was turning 30 or 31, so she asked her friends to do an act of kindness for someone else every day for a month in honor of her birthday.

Like the author of that story, I need no tangible gifts to celebrate my birthday, but I do need people’s kindness. Everyone does. Paradoxically, we get what we need by giving what we need to others. To get kindness, we have to give kindness. As the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

During this new decade of my life (and beyond), I’m going to try to make it a daily habit to show kindness to others—and I’d like you to join me. Find someone today (and every day) who needs the kindness that only you can give—and then give it. Random acts of kindness help to make the world a more humane place; purposeful acts of kindness can break down even the most formidable walls between people.

If you need some help getting started, go here or here or here.

I hope you’ll join me in being part of a great wave of goodness spreading all over the world, one purposeful act of kindness at a time.

Thank you!


Posted on June 3, 2009, in birthday. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Feliz Cumpleanos, MMT!! 🙂

    I will do as requested in honor of a very wonderful blogging friend!

    Vaya con Dios,

  2. What a wonderful idea! Yes, it is almost the start of a new decade for you. Wow! — Mary Carol

  3. Happy birthday/decade, MMM! I hope it’s the best decade yet! I did a random act for you. 😉 I took my neighbor out for coffee to get her away from her awful husband. I wish I could take her out for coffee permanently!

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      I think I’ve heard about this husband before. Sounds like this neighbor of yours can use all the kindness she can get. Bless you!

  4. Happy Birthday! Have a restful summer!

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      I just got up from a nap, so I guess I’m finding a little rest along the way. Thanks for the good wishes, Mallory.

  5. 30?40?50?

    Happy Birthday!!

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Oh, all of the above, Ms. V!!!! 🙂 (When students ask how old I am, I say, “7268”–and they give me the weirdest looks!)

  6. Happy birthday to you! A milestone birthday! They come more and more quickly. As someone said about life’s being like a roll of toilet paper…the nearer the end you get, the faster it goes. I was 50, turned around, and there was 60. Lo and behold, in a couple of years, there will be another milestone.

    I love your idea of encouraging acts of kindness. I iwll do that.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Toilet paper???!!! Gee, Beverly, I didn’t realize that my life was “on a roll” like that!!! 🙂

  7. As you enter your second decade, I wish you a happy birthday.

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      I am laughing my head off, Pissed Off! You and I are the same age–“second decade” indeed! 🙂

  8. I will be performing Purposeful Acts of Kindness on your behalf for the next year.

    BTW, this will be required by my students next year. Every month, they will have to write a reflective paper about their act of kindness. I believe that this promotes citizenship in our democracy. Who are we, if we don’t don’t care for those around us?

    Happy Birthday!!!!

    • magicalmysticalteacher

      Thanks for the great birthday gift, Miss Teacha! And to think that your students will be doing the same thing–wow! Which, of course, gives me the idea of having my students do the same thing. The goodness just keeps on going! 🙂

      • Just completed my first one. Do you mind if I share it?

        The custodians have been moving furniture out into the hallways to wax and clean the floors. In a lot of the rooms the air conditioning does not work. On my lunch break, I went to TCBY and bought all of them a cup of ice cream. I told them, “I hope this cools you off a bit.” They were shocked and pleasantly surprised.

      • magicalmysticalteacher

        Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!

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