Perform a new random act of kindness every day. Smile at a stranger, give a friend flowers because they've had a bad day, participate in a rideshare, help an elderly woman carry groceries, or build a house for the needy.
Simply do something that benefits the people, community, or environment you
interact with every day.

Why:

You've spent the last several months bolstering your range of experiences, exploring yourself, your world, and the people around you- perhaps it's time to start influencing the world and the people around you! The adventure of trying new things can extended into very actively altering your environment, and, of course, what's more exciting that inspiring change? Let's see what happens when spend ever day making the world a slightly more awesome place through kindness.

Bonus points!

Recruit others to help you out! Can you actually create a community through acts of kindness? And, like all previous months, try to keep up with previous months' challenges. How's that new skill coming? Keeping in contact with any of January's new friends?

Trivia:

Did you know that you don't have to be a tree-hugging hippie to commit random acts of kindness? In fact, hugging trees may not even qualify as a random act of kindness, as it really doesn't benefit anyone in any way. Unless maybe the tree? But maybe you're just smothering it with affection? Maybe the tree needs some space. To think about things for a while. Things are moving awful fast.

Resources:

RandomActsOfKindness.org - This site sums up this months challenge. Browse ideas for random acts of kindness, read inspirational stories, etc.
VolunteerMatch - Want to commit a random act of kindness via volunteerism? Find organizations that let you actively participate is changing the world around you at this site. Search locally and by theme.
justgive.org - Want to simply donate a little money to a cause, but are unsure how to find an organization that supports your cause? Here's a way to find them.
idealist.org - Volunteer opportunities, nonprofit jobs, internships, and organizations working to change the world.
Craigslist.org -Check in the "Community" section in your area's Craigslist. Rideshares, volunteer opportunities, various things that don't involve killing prostitutes- all things you might find on Craigslist!
Facebook Group: Vicious Volunteering A group founded by Brave Newbies to foster
volunteerism in SoCal!
 

random-acts-of-kindnessFirst off, to the blagosphere, you’ve been there when I’ve needed you most, and recently I’ve failed you.  My adventures have not ceased, my experiences not slowed, but I have not done my due diligence in documenting the mind-expanding experiences of The Brave New.  Is this a personal failure?  I’m… not sure.  I’ve lived life to a fuller extent than I ever thought possible, so I have no real regrets.  I do wish I could share more.  When I have a chance, I’m going to post my “lost articles”, documenting adventures that you’ve not heard of.

But I digress, let’s take a look at the newest series of adventures-  performing a random act of kindness every day.  This is either the easiest or the hardest challenge to date, as it’s open to so much interpretation.  Also, frankly, this is the most important challenge, and one could argue the raison d’être for The Brave New.  If you can truly achieve this one, then congratulations, you get it. So how do we go about attempting a new act of kindness every day?  What IS a random act of kindness?  With something that nebulous, I’ve come up with a few ground rules.

  1. This has to be something new to your mindset. Deliberately pull yourself out of your patterns of behavior to do something nice.  If you didn’t notice you were doing it, it doesn’t count.  It’s still an act of kindness, don’t get me wrong, but it’s neither brave nor new, is it?
  2. This has to be kind for kindness sake. Helping a gorgeous girl with her luggage, or holding the door for a dark-haired hunk at the library doesn’t count unless you can honestly you did it to make the world a better place.  However, if the gorgeous girl is struggling, or the dark haired guy looks sad, maybe you’re actions are justified?  The only person who can say for sure is you!
  3. You have to honestly believe you’re doing a good deed. You don’t have to like it, but don’t let someone convince you that an activity is virtuous just because they say so.  A good example of this is giving money to the homeless-  a good number of people believe this just perpetuates a cycle of dependency, or that they are funding a drug habit.
  4. You can’t do it just to brag about it later. This makes maintaining this site a challenge for this month, but I’ll get to that.

Here are some examples of random acts of kindness you might wish to pursue:

  • Holding the door for a stranger
  • Carrying groceries for an elderly person
  • Bringing flowers to a friend
  • Pick up some litter
  • Actually listen to the depressed guy at the bar who’s looking for human contact
  • Surprising a friend by visiting when they’ve had a rough day
  • Donating money to a cause
  • Donating clothes to goodwill
  • Teaching someone a new skill they’d enjoy
  • Engage in some volunteerism in your community
  • Start a volunteer organisation
  • Start a club that brings people closer together
  • Support a friend (or a stranger) in a new endeavor
  • Participating in a rideshare

These things are small, trite, and inconsequential, right?  Not en masse they aren’t!  Try 31 days of this and see what happens!
(As I’m writing this in the airport, and a six year old behind me just loudly announced “DON’T BE A NEGATIVE NANCY, BE A POSITIVE….  … POLLY!”)
Note that I’m uncomfortable writing about my acts of kindness, as it feels like that defeats the purpose.  I may write about some, but more likely I’m going to write about what a person could do, or share articles about what other people have done. You’ll have to guess whether or not I’m doing these things as well.

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Brave Newbie Writers

Phil WarrenPhil Warren (81)
Founder and editor of The Brave New, Phil Warren is now an accordion player, a minister, a sonic weapons expert, a director, a photographer, a public speaker, and a bunch of other things. Mostly he's an adventurer though. An adventurer who smells nice. Except when he doesn't.
NickNick (6)
One part Burner and one part Engineer; I’ve lived through twenty-five-and-a-half winters, and aim to keep it that way. My world is a strange one, and it’s my goal to make it stranger.

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