I read this book some time ago in which one of the main characters was suffering from depression (no, don't worry, I am planning this to be an uplifting, not a depressing, blog offering.) She had been told that one
way to pull herself out of the darkness was to try to carry out, each and every day, an Act of Random Kindness.
Now her husband was also suffering from depression (I can tell you're bothered where
this might be going but, please, just stick with it, everything will come out alright in the end). So she insisted that he should join her in also carrying out an Act of Random Kindness every day. A man of little imagination, all
his ARKs turned out to be traffic-related. As in, slowing down to allow someone to cross the road or letting another car pull out in front of him.
A bit like the husband in the story, I
am pondering on exactly when a Random Act can be described as a Kindness and when it's just something you should have been doing anyway. And does it still count when in some way you, yourself, may profit from the said Act?
For example, this morning at the Library, signing up children for the Summer Reading Challenge, I let the small sister of two of my new recruits choose a "StoryLab" sticker, even though she was too young
to join in. Was this an Act of Random Kindness on my part? And, if so, how far was my Random Act influenced by the fact that the small one was turning very red in the face and looked about to shatter the peace of the library with a well-timed
Mr B says he is more than happy to be the grateful recipient of any Acts of Random Kindness I may happen to think of. It is his firmly-held view that Acts of Random Kindness, like charity,
should begin at home. He also says he is dying for a cup of coffee.
But you see my difficulty. I, too, am dying for a cup of coffee. If I make one for myself, at the same time as
I am making one for Mr B, can this still count as a Random Act? Would it make any difference if I make him one of his filter coffee specials, while satisfying myself with Instant Decaff?
all the problems, I do like the idea of Acts of Random Kindness. I therefore remain determined to carry out at least one Random Act a day. And if I can't find anyone else to benefit from my kindnesses, random or otherwise, then it's comforting
to know that there's always Mr B.....