This year we’re trying something a little different for Lent. Instead of giving something up, we’re doing the Kindness Project. I’ve tasked myself and my kids to do one kind thing for someone else every day, starting today, Ash Wednesday, and continuing through Good Friday.
My goal is two-fold. I want us all to make sure we do something for someone else. It doesn’t have to be big, it can be as simple as giving someone a compliment, or opening the door for someone, but I want each of us to be more aware of how our actions effect others. My other goal is to make us more aware of the good things we do without even thinking about it. While I think it’s good to be on automatic-kindness, being aware is important. Studies have shown that people who do things for others are happier, but what if we don’t even realize we’re doing it?
Today I asked each of my kids what they did for someone else. Buddy had to think, but after awhile he realized he told a friend at school “Great try, you did a good job,” after he lost a game. Sassafras got the mail without being asked, but since that’s on her chore chart I had her go give her brother a hug and tell him that she thinks he’s great. Sometimes a kind word can really make a difference to someone’s day.
For my first day I called a former coworker on her first day at a new job. To be honest, I didn’t know it was her first day, but I round-about (through the magic of the internet rabbit hole) found out she worked for a new company and gave her a call. She was so happy to hear a familiar voice in a strange new place. It was an act of kindness by accident, but I felt really good about taking the time to call her.
I’m interested to see if the kids come up with fun, new ways to be kind to someone else, or if they’ll keep doing the same things. I’m not making it a contest to see who can be the most creative, I just want us all to be more thoughtfully kind.
Share your Lent traditions, or ways you show kindness to others.