Made You Smile Back encourages you to check out these special but unique random acts of kindness during a lockdown you can do during these times of uncertainty. After all, it’s ‘nice to be nice’ and I can’t think of a better time than now to do what we can as individuals in doing our part to find the ‘good’ in all of this chaos.
Fact… in the USA, there have been 1,681,418 confirmed cases and 98,929 deaths with 384,902 people recovering from the virus.
Fact… in the state of Texas, where I live, there have been 54,509 confirmed cases and 1,506 deaths with 33,385 people recovering from the virus.
The good news is one thing that we have seen all over the world is that kindness is prevailing in uncertain times. We have learned that amid the fear, there is also community, support and hope.
Let’s never forget that it is always important to be kind to people. Kindness is needed now more than ever. With that in mind, let's dive in as we find out what Made You Smile Back suggests as ten unique random acts of kindness we all can do.
Who has heard of 'Ding Dong Ditch'? You know, what mischievous teenagers would do with too much time on their hands. They would 'prank' their unsuspecting neighbors (like putting toilet paper all over the yard and landscape, then ring the doorbell and run away while they look at the dismay on their neighbor's faces when they open the door)?
Well, believe it or not, I decided to make this the unique featured random act of kindness and put it as number one. Why? Because it doesn't have to be a prank!
Meg Campbell, owner and designer of Custom Solar Lanterns was writing a Facebook Post about doing a 'ding dong ditch' with her unique, one-of-a-kind solar lanterns as a gift! What a brilliant serendipity idea!
So, instead of putting toilet paper all over a neighbor's yard, why not instead create a practical 'gift basket' which ironically, may include rolls of toilet paper (lol) and other goodies? And sure, why not get the kids involved in carrying this out?! Priceless, if you ask me!
Speaking of kids, another very special and unique random act of kindness one can do during maintaining of social distancing, etc. is doing some colorful artwork!
Lately, all over the United States and across the world, windows are being transformed into rainbows of hope for all to see when driving or strolling by on a neighborhood walk! Parents are participating too right alongside their children as they create 'chalk masterpieces' on their driveways and sidewalks!
If this doesn't put a smile on your face, then nothing will!
I am thrilled to say that seamstresses all over the world today are busy at home putting love and care into their craft by sewing homemade face masks. When there is a will, there is a way.
When the world was complaining of having shortages, they got to work and knew what they had to do. Sometimes working long hours, thousands upon thousands of homemade face masks have been created. What a meaningful random act of kindness!
Why now, you can even find 'designer' face masks as well!
Did you know that flowers are at an all-time low price? Yes, so the next time you're at the grocery store or market (with your face mask on of course...), why not pick up some flowers and then drop them off on your way home to one of your family members, friends or neighbors!?!
The 5th random act of kindness that Made You Smile Back caringly suggests is how about picking up the groceries for one of your senior neighbors and delivering to their doorstep?
Better yet, why not also prepare 2nd helpings of a home-cooked meal and drop that off as well?!? Nothing speaks of kindness more than sharing a meal with others. Right!
And speaking of all the wonderful delivery personnel who should be considered as part of the 'front line'... why not do a random act of kindness towards them as well! Not only is tipping something we should be doing anyway, a gift card for groceries, etc. would go a long way in putting a grateful smile on their faces.
But let's not stop here. Gift cards are also a nice gesture to randomly give to our healthcare workers, firefighters, police and other essential workers who may need a little 'extra' letting them know how appreciative you are for them!
Can you imagine what it must be like if you are one of the unlucky ones who are ill from contracting this insidious COVID-19 virus? You are immediately either hospitalized or told to be in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days! It is not only important, but it is a MUST that we come together and help any way we can to make this as comfortable for them as possible.
I know it's been a while for many of us who have not taken out a sheet of paper and pen and actually wrote a handwritten letter. But let's agree and do this. There is nothing more encouraging when your spirits are low but to receive a handwritten letter of hope and care to someone who is not feeling good.
It's heartwarming to also see school-age children taking out their crayons and eagerly creating colorful and loving 'Get Well Cards' that are being sent to those in need. These are acts of kindness long remembered afterward.
In a previous blog I wrote, 'The Magical Touch of Kindness', I wrote about the powerful phenomenon known as the 'ripple effect' that takes place once the momentum of 'paying it forward' takes place. Let me explain.
How many of you have had the pleasure of being in a long line going through the drive-thru at Starbucks® and when you finally pull up to the window to pay, you’re told it's already been paid for! Made you feel incredible didn’t it?
And I would be willing to bet that it made you feel so good, you decided to ‘pay it forward’ for the next person driving up behind you. It’s a proven scientific fact that random acts of kindness are not only contagious but can be exponentially impactful on the world as a whole.
Taking it a step forward, in addition to doing this while going through a drive-thru like Starbucks® or a Chik-Fil-A® that we are all familiar with, we can also do this generous random act of kindness and pay for the groceries for the person standing behind us in the grocery store!
Per NBC News®, reporter Yuliya Talmazan wrote:
"Even while stuck inside for days on end, Italians will still find a way to put on a show.
Italians are used to their streets and piazzas bustling with food, music and a sense of dolce vita, but the quarantine has erased much of that, leaving major cities almost deserted."
As it so happens, I have a daughter studying for her Masters' Degree in Milan, Italy. I'll never forget the day she sent a 'Whats-Up' video of her apartment building peering over the balcony recording her neighbors literally 'singing in Italian' to one another! It brought tears to my eyes!
So, Made You Smile Back's ninth suggested random act of kindness is to organize a block 'singing or concert' event to raise the spirits of your neighborhood! What fun would that be!
Made You Smile Back makes no apologies in intentionally featuring this 10th random act of kindness as the ultimate in actively doing. This is social distancing and it entails not only the wearing of a face mask when out of your home, but honoring the 6-foot rule for spacing as well.
Why do I see it as a 'random act of kindness'? Because think about it, you may think it doesn't make a difference but it does! By protecting YOURSELF, you're also protecting or reducing the probability of getting someone else infected.
My fellow readers, please don't become complacent because restrictions have been reduced in some locations of the country and/or world. Listen carefully... until and only until a viable vaccine has been developed and tested, then and only then can we lax our social distancing!
So... until then do yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors and the rest of humanity a favor... practice responsible social distancing.
In closing, remember... kindness often costs very little, yet its value is immense. During these challenging times, I ask you, my readers, to actively participate and do your part in spreading 'random acts of kindness' and unexpected gestures to our friends, neighbors and strangers.
For there is no shortage of reasons to be stressed and concerned about our situation, but there are always spots of hope worth savoring, too. Many blessings to you all and stay safe.