Have you seen the movie Robin Hood with Russell Crowe? If you haven’t, you should. It’s a great movie. If you’re a huge Russell Crowe fan (like me) it’s an amazing movie. It also has a really great line (that I unfortunately couldn’t find a youtube clip of) where Russell Crowe (as Robin) is talking about the need to pay something back. He says something along the lines of, “We can’t repay our good fortune with bad grace. It invites darkness.”
I think there’s a large amount of truth to that. Call it what you will – paying it forward, giving back, karma, sharing blessings – whatever you may choose to call it. I think there’s a need to share and contribute to the good.
That’s one of the things that I love about this time of year. We’re getting really close to the time when people are more generous and try to be nicer than usual to others. You just hear so many great stories about people being kind around the holidays. Now, I know some people say that it’s terrible that it takes the holidays to bring out the good in people, and I think they’re right to a degree. After all, the holiday season is short. Hopefully we’re all being nice for more than about six weeks a year.
It also seems like being kind just comes very naturally for some people. My husband is one of them. He automatically holds doors for people, helps them with packages, things like that. It doesn’t for me. I have to constantly remind myself not to just bulldoze my way through the day. It takes conscious thought, which I realize is not an excuse.
Then you come across things like this blog that I found last year. It started off as an ordinary guy, around my age, wanting to make the world a little better place for his baby. So he set out to do 366 random acts of kindness in 2012. The acts were varied and included things like shoveling snow, donating blood, and donating to and raising awareness for various causes. Whenever you’re feeling bad about humanity, read through the archives. You’ll feel a little better.
When I got the news about my hepatic adenomas shrinking I really felt like I’d dodged a bullet or been given something of a second chance. That news lifted a huge burden, but it was a burden that I wasn’t carrying alone. My husband, my sister, my best friend, one of my transport friends, my boss, my co-workers, one wonderful nurse in the radiology department, and a few other people have been incredibly supportive and kind.
All of that being said, I feel like I need to do something. So I came up with the idea for 31 acts of kindness, or good deeds, (I don’t think what you call it is that important) this holiday season. I’m 31 years old, and December has 31 days, so it works in my mind. I’m also a deadline oriented person, so saying that I will accomplish them between today, November 16, 2013 (which, coincidentally, is my parents’ wedding anniversary) and December 31, 2013, means that I will actually do them instead of just having another good idea that comes to nothing. It’s just how I function. Telling all of you also gives me some accountability.
I have a few things in mind, and actually did my first one today (posting about that tomorrow), but don’t have all 31 planned. So if you have any ideas, or want to share what you do, I’d really love to hear about it.