By Heather Mendiola
What does the word “kindness” mean anymore? Is it being a gentleman and opening a door for someone? Or is it smiling at the person who just looked up and caught your glance? The answer is both, and so much more.
Random Acts of Kindness Week at Union started on Monday Feb. 10 and ends tomorrow Feb. 14, just in time for Valentine’s Day! Although, the official Random Acts of Kindness Week ends on Feb. 16. But Random Acts of Kindness Week is not just about being kind for one week out of the year.
This week was brought to campus three years ago to inspire people to be kind to others every day of the year — and then have random acts of kindness returned to you for one week. But here is a little secret: If you are kind each day throughout the year, people will be kind to you every day throughout the year too — Karma is awesome!
Being kind to someone does not mean you must like that person, or that you need to make plans to hang out with him or her. Being kind is a fundamental part of human nature. One that appears to be endangered. Random Acts of Kindness Week at Union is trying to save this endangered behavior.
This week, the Kenney Center and Student Volunteer Committee (SVC) have been in Reamer Campus Center each day from 12 to 2 p.m. with a different Random Act of Kindness for the students. Each day, students have been able to bring the purple slip they received in their mailbox to the Random Acts of Kindness table in order to enter themselves in a raffle for various prizes, but the table itself has hosted a new theme each day.
They kicked off the week’s event on Monday by giving out free popcorn. On Tuesday, they had a card table so people could write thank you cards or Valentine’s Day cards. All of the cards will be delivered by tomorrow, Feb. 14. On Wednesday, they had free hot cocoa outside of Reamer from 10 a.m. until lunchtime, as well as their Wheel of Kindness game inside.
What wonderful and thoughtful people!
Today, Thursday, they have a free bake sale. I repeat, FREE BAKE SALE! I give you permission to temporarily put this article down and run to Reamer now!
Finally, the week ends tomorrow with my personal favorite of free hugs and kisses. They will be giving out Hershey kisses, but the hugs are real!
Their generosity does not end there. With the help from campus groups including Alpha Delta Lambda, Wells House, Culinary House, Phi Iota Alpha and Unitas, Random Acts of Kindness Week will be extended to the Heritage Home for Women and the guests at Bethesda House’s meal program tomorrow with the delivery of paper flowers, cards and Valentine’s candy.
With all that the Kenney Center and SVC has done for students this past week, you may feel lacking in the kindness department. Do not fret, for your random act of kindness may come in a different form. You just need to be aware of opportunities.
Kindness does not involve money and it hardly involves thought! Then why aren’t more people partaking in such benevolent behaviors? I do not have the answer, but I do have a list of possible solutions.
Smile at the next person that walks past you, hold the door for someone, ask someone if they need help carrying what’s in their arms. Thank the women and men that make and serve your food, and do not forget the people who are in the back cleaning the dishes! Tell the person they are throwing trash in the recycling or vice versa. That may not seem like kindness to some, but to those who care about the environment it is as kind as giving a hug.
Uttering a few kind words to someone may completely make their day and you may not even know it! Being kind is not about getting something in return; it is about helping to make someone’s day a little better, just because you have the ability to do so.
In the middle of the term, especially winter term, we can get so involved in our own thoughts about all the work we have to do that we do not see the person waving at us from five feet away.
Is that how you want your life to be? So in your thoughts you cannot see a friend when they are standing right in front of you? If your answer is no, then wake up, because the moment will transition to another whether you are aware of it or not. And always smile, because you are alive and breathing!