As Google popped out one of its reminders of today’s Random Act of Kindness Day, it occurred to me that have I ever asked myself the last time I did something nice for someone out of blue in my random state of mind? There have been so many celebrations and events around the globe every day of our lives. But without a hint of self-interest can we develop our sense of instinctive kindness? Sounds like such a random thought but its relevance is quite intense in everyday living. There have been several research where one’s ability to act kindly is directly linked with the individual’s feeling of contentment, health, and happiness. This pans across ages and genders and their achievement of mental peace and stability. It is strange that in today’s times, a special date must be allotted to celebrate this inherent human quality. But in a way perhaps there is a dire need to promote it as a celebratory date so that humanity can come to realize its integrity and importance. The popularity of its celebration is increasing every year in groups, individuals nationally and internationally but what is interesting is to understand whether the practical actions of being kind randomly are following these celebrations or not. Since what goes around comes back, what we need to answer is whether our Pillar of a random act of kindness is round as well. Do we need to sand it further or is there a balance in the action and intention?
When a small child tries to comprehend the butterfly effect theory in science class, that thought doesn’t just stay as a piece of scientific theory. It finds its way through a multitude of passages in the brain and creates new dimensions, meanings, and experiences. This theory projects that even a small flutter of the wings of a butterfly can bring typhoons to a faraway land. The concept may seem to be far-fetched in its practicality, but its magnificence seems way too large for a young mind and there are chances that the same concept resonates in another context in the latter part of that child’s life. The random act of kindness is almost like that butterfly effect where you are kind to someone unplanned. That act of kindness comes back to you in another shape and form for that one random act of yours might have been a boon for someone else. It may sound bizarre to the practical mind but then emotions have their logic that many times contradict the logical humanity. The tiny aspect of our humane actions done in a spur of the moment might be capable of having a non-linear effect over complex situations in society. The unpredictability of our good behaviors can have equally unpredictable happy conclusions.
Your random act of kindness towards random someone has the power to bring immense happiness in their lives. It may help in developing positive relationships and new friendships. This action can even bring a sense of self peace and kindness in return thus completing the circle around your pillar of life. A small smile, a random genuine compliment, a comforting pat on the back, or even a soft-supporting gaze can reduce an impending sense of anxiety, anger, and uncertainty in a person near you. We undermine their weightage of soft skills and compassionate behavior because the world has made us hard in our outlook of its being. Perhaps this is the reason why we refrain consciously from being that kind self. Our skepticism overshadows our emotions, and we end up refraining from letting ourselves go with the flow.
Dr. Daniel Campbell-Meiklejohn, the study lead and Director of the Social Decision Laboratory at the University of Sussex along with psychologists at the university confirms that there is warmth in kindness even if there is no motive behind it. He further explained that the motivation to be kind can vary in people. While some decide to be kind because they feel the need to be a good person. However, the other may do it because they have some invested interest in that act of kindness. There is a view regarding this that elaborates it is the act that matters more than intention. Why does it take a back seat as long as the act of kindness occurs? There may be several contradictory opinions while discussing the mentioned study. Then there is another concept that involves doing the act of kindness without any need or motive. The act is so random that reason has no space in its explanation. This is where the true test comes in. When there is no need for intention focussed on committing this act of kindness, then the resultant ripples can be felt far away and lasts for a longer period.
This random act of kindness involves people who are close to you along with those who are total strangers. Action speaks louder than words in those moments. The pillar of kindness becomes not only tall but also complete in its roundness. The holistic experience of experiencing that random act of care along with imparting the spontaneous show of respect towards mutual existence is what makes the act worth its celebration. Be it personal relationships or professional interaction, our soft approach to humanize surrounding work and residential conditions is worthy of how we talk our walk. This is where kindness comes full circle and unconsciously becomes a part of our everyday life. We need to realize that this random act of kindness and mutual whole-hearted acceptance is integral in today’s chaotic world. That casual helping hand can perhaps assist in lifting another being to their real potential. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fibre of free people. A nation does not need to be cruel to be tough.” We need to absorb Darwin’s thought that man is an extremely social being that cares a lot by instinct. Sympathy and kindness come naturally to him and his actions. So, the question that arises here is, has our pillar of kindness reached its full circle, or are there more steps left to cover the round productively? It shouldn’t just remain a random food for thought!