On July 29th, 2015, I was lucky enough to take part in a unique birthday event. If you are like me you may find yourself weary of cake with candles, parties and the general hoopla that accompanies birthdays. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the festivities most years, but at times it can feel like just another day, and not even the most fulfilling of days. And that is just how my aunt felt as her birthday reared it’s older looking head this year. “Time for something different”, she thought
So for her 35th Birthday, she declared it as an opportunity. For what? To send some random acts of kindness out into the world. So follow me along on our afternoon journey, in spreading some positive vibes through the town of St. John’s.
Starting the day we rummaged through our closets, and bid farewell to all clothing articles that have failed to see daylight in far too long. Which leads us to our first good deed. We ventured to the local community donation center. Here we met a cheerful young fellow who was receiving donations. We supplied him with three bags and were on our way. It was so easy, it left me wondering why don’t I do this like all the time?
As it was a beautiful day we felt it was fitting to travel to the park, spread some good will, and all that jazz. We decided to write out some inspirational quotes, random messages, and happy thoughts. Personally, I find that discovering a happy message in a random way always brings a smile to my face. (Or maybe I am just weird like that) Either way with some notes in hand we began to “litter” the park. Leaving these beautiful messages all over, in the hopes that it would brighten at least one persons day. I mean why not?
What’s next on the list? Lotto tickets of course! Who in their right mind would not collect joy from receiving a free lotto ticket? Who I say? This one was particularly difficult, and it took a great deal of nerve and courage to walk up to perfectly good strangers and explain yourself as an unknown just wishing to give them a gift. But off she went with tickets in hand, approaching complete strangers. It was madness I tell you! Perfectly courageous madness!
I watched as folks expressions changed from closed off and confused into astonished and purely happy. People were so thankful that someone would give them a gift for no reason at all other than to brighten their day. My dear Aunt received hugs, smiles, and laughter from each person she interrupted throughout the afternoon. It was a joy to watch. And I hope to gain the courage to do the same someday.
Leaving the park feeling energized we headed to the downtown area. Here we decided to put some quarters in expired meters. Genius, I know! So simple, but take it from me very effective. Having received a parking ticket in the same area just days before, I myself could fully appreciate the goodness in this act.
Retiring from hunting parking meters we moved to Quidi Vidi Lake. We enjoyed a walk, gave away additional lotto tickets then strolled into the graveyard. Here my aunt placed flowers on graves that were empty, a heartwarming deed.
At the end of the day some good deeds included:
And much more…
When the day was at its end, 35 acts of kindness were completed, one for every year of my Aunts life to date. Along with the response from many that they would pay it forward. A birthday spent in a unique way and a memory to have for many birthdays to follow.
I asked my Aunt to share her thoughts on why she wished to spend her birthday in this way. The following is what she wished to share.
“It’s my 35th birthday and instead of celebrating in the usual way. I have decided to commit to 35 random acts of kindness. It was by far the most fulfilling birthday I have ever had. Knowing that people were smiling and happy for one moment, has made my birthday a success. I also posted what I planned to do online asking the public if they needed help. I received so many positive messages back, and many people shared stories of paying it forward, it has been so heartwarming. So I invite others to do the same, reach out in whatever way you feel comfortable and bring a smile to someone’s face today”
Happy Birthday, dearest Aunt!
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” – Oscar Wilde