Random Act of Kindness Cards

Many years ago, when I was still living with my dad, I remember him mentioning a book that he was reading about random acts of kindness. I don't recall the name of the book, although a search on Amazon.com turns up quite a few on the subject. Like many of us, I find myself doing the occasional nice deed, and every time I've gone a bit out of my way for someone, it inevitably makes me feel really good too. So, as the holidays were approaching this year, I thought it'd be fun to make a practice of it.

To make the process one that can easily recur, I thought I'd print up some "business cards" to hand out when I did a good deed. This way, the recipient wouldn't be completely confused, and they'd be able to "pay it forward" to someone else. I can't take credit for this card idea...I'm sure I've heard about it somewhere else. Regardless, after a few internet searches, I wasn't able to find much.

Most of what I did find came from The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. They provide some good resources for starting clubs, community groups, and integrating the concepts into a classroom. Their Free Graphics section provides some ideas, and I used them as inspiration for the cards that I ended up designing. There's a link to download them at the end of this post.

So far, I've used one card on a Victoria Clipper trip my wife and I took to Victoria, BC this past weekend (to purchase the next person's dinner). Yesterday, I used one in the Taco Time drive-thru in Sammamish, Washington. Drive-thrus make it easy...just pay for the person behind you and instruct the employee to hand the card to them. Today, I used one at Starbuck's. These are all monetary examples, but there are many other possibilities. It's refreshing to condition your mind to think primarily in terms of what other people get out of the experience.

Anyway, if you want to make other people happy and bring yourself some personal joy, I highly recommend downloading and printing your own Random Act of Kindness cards (84KB PDF). Happy holidays!

Comments (7)

  1. a-bpotts says:

    great idea… thanks for sharing this Mike!

  2. marc says:

    Mike: you’re probably looking for http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0223897

  3. mswanson says:

    Marc: yes, I liked that movie. There are also many "pay it forward" web sites that you can find that aren’t related to the movie. Although I’m no expert on the difference, my personal take is that a "random act of kindness" is an initial (and possibly final) act, while "paying it forward" it taking something good that you’ve received as inspiration to do something for someone else…but I’m probably just splitting hairs. 🙂

  4. A very nice idea. The book is called "Guerrilla Kindness," by Gavin Whitsett, and was given to me by a lady named Elizabeth Sample for Christmas several years ago.

  5. Eric Schatzschneider says:

    As a concept "Random Act of Kindness" is a good idea. But there has always been something that bothered me about it. Why is it not "Consistent Act of Kindness"?

  6. Kyle says:

    I agree with Eric.  The acts should be Consistant and constant.  We need to start some where.  I try to be Consistant with my Random acts.  Random being that I don’t know who the act will fall upon.  It’s the luck of the draw.  If you are behind me, tag you’re it.  In a restaurant, I have the wait person select a meal ticket for me to pay.  Keeping it random.  This summer, I’m taking it on the road to places I have not been.  This will really be random.  

    I have created my own cards.  I did see the org’s cards.

    Peace and Love.  Pass it on.

  7. Karl Moore says:

    Fantastic post, sorry I joined so late! 🙂 I have my own little blog section which suggests a great Random Acts of Kindness every single week. Check it out at: http://www.karlblog.com/blog/labels/random%20acts%20of%20kindness.html

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