Monday, December 21, 2009

Wasting Your Own Time and Money: Random Acts of Kindness

Throw out all references to Random Acts of Kindness… it is utter bullshit.

First of all, it is hardly random. You walk in to your local grocery store (already not random) and pay for someone’s groceries… whose groceries? The people who look poor? Not random. The people merely look poor… are they indeed needy or simply wearing old, comfortable clothes? What if you really wouldn't know a poor person if he jumped up and bit you on the ass? (Of course your judgment isn't sound... you want to practice "random acts of kindness" like a dutiful and mindless little quasi-lefty jackass.)

Secondly, why not have a purpose or a meaning behind your generosity? I know why… more than likely it is because giving with meaning takes a little more effort. If you intend to give generously, give to someone who actually needs and deserves your gift!

Perhaps you concern yourself with the plight of the homeless… if that is so, then randomly giving out cash to folks who merely fit the description on the street amounts to patting yourself on the back and showing other people how kind you look. You want to help the homeless? Get some of your old clothes and blankets and coats and gloves and hats and so on. Buy some new ones if you need. Bring that to a homeless shelter or to your local church or synagogue. Volunteer some time there giving those folks soup, cleaning up the place, offer to do odd jobs or offer to pay someone to do repairs.

See a soldier or a cop or a fire fighter or someone from a rescue crew at a restaurant or a bar or a store… quietly buy a gift card and give it to the cashier or waiter before the person checks out. Tell the cashier or waiter or manager to give the person the gift card, or pay for their purchases completely. Send beverages to their base or headquarters or where ever these folks work… hot ones on cold nights or cold ones on hot afternoons.

See someone working late night during a big game? Maybe a telephone repairman is out fixing the cables in your neighborhood on a holiday. Don’t forget the folks braving the traffic as they fix your roads… in the rain or snow. They would enjoy the kindness of a grateful citizen or neighbor bringing a box of cookies, a six- or twelve-pack of drinks, or a gift certificate for a meal on their way home.

Random Acts of Kindness is for well-intentioned, empty-headed hippies. Purposeful generosity and meaningful gratitude makes much better use out of your time and your gift.