40 Days of Kindness: and beyond…


Easter is over, which means that Lent is now over, too!  This lent was definitely not boring.  I ended up doing some things that I didn’t expect to when I first started, and didn’t do some things that I thought I would.  I had wanted to do less acts that involve money, since I don’t have a job, and I think that I was successful in that.  I thought I would do more acts that involved baking, because that’s something I could do for relatively free/cheap, but only ended up baking three or four times.  Overall, I would say that the ones I enjoyed most were the ones where I did not get to see the reaction from whoever it was that was “benefiting” from my random act of kindness.

For example, I really enjoyed going onto tumblr and sending people anonymous love notes…  I accidentally sent one under my own username, but did not see the response to the majority of them.  The point of doing this was not to make myself feel good, but it was to make other people feel good.  I felt that by giving the mail man cookies, or by baking for a team of teenagers, or by sending a family pizza, it was really focused on the person/group who was getting them because I didn’t get to see their reaction.  When I was seeing the reaction, it sometimes felt as though I was doing the act of kindness more for myself than for the person.

A little while ago on Twitter, someone I’m following said something along the lines of “I understand why people do bad things” and when I asked her why that was, she explained that it’s easier.  One of the major things I’ve learned during this lenten experience is how difficult it is to think up something new every day.  It was difficult to go up to people I didn’t know and ask them for money, it was difficult to try to come up with something in the middle of the day that I could do, and it was difficult to go out of my way to do some kind act.

It is easy to do bad things, it’s also easy to write off the good things you do as being not a big deal, when you never know how the other person responded to it.  Last week was tough for me.  On a particularly bad day, my friend text messaged me out of the blue just to chat.  We talked about NOTHING, but it still made a huge impact on my day. I felt way better after that little text message conversation.

After all is said and done, I can look back and kind of compare Lent 2013 to the things I “gave up” for Lent in past years, and I think that this year’s was much more difficult than other years.  For example, I think that giving up sugar was much easier than doing one random act of kindness a day. Giving up Facebook was definitely easier, too!  And maybe that’s the point of it.  Isn’t it supposed to actually be a challenge?  Perhaps next year I’ll have to give up something that is difficult to live without.


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