On December 14th I intentionally avoided the news, the radio even Google news because that day marked the first anniversary of the Newtown school shooting at Sandy Hook. The reminders are everywhere here in Connecticut. I did however go on the twitter as I do most weeks and found something that was new to me called #26acts. Newscaster Ann Curry started this idea in the aftermath of December 14, 2012, but I had never heard of it. Ann invited her twitter followers to join her in performing 26 acts of random kindness to honor the children and adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. So a year later, I'm joining the movement.
On December 15th, I bought the guy next to me lunch. I've seen him around town. He sits in the library for hours. He walks everywhere. Something is not quite right. But he's a nice fellow, says hello and smiles. When he sat next to us at Andros Diner, I thought, "I'm doing this. I'm going to secretly buy him lunch." He literally ate $11 worth of mashed potatoes and gravy. This plate would've fed four other people but he's skinny as a rail. I hope he was happy that someone bought him lunch. I hope I didn't insult him. I didn't wait to see his reaction. Now I know his name is Jimmy, like my dad.
Sometimes I forget I've made this commitment and then I'll remember and it makes me smile. Like this morning, I held the door for a man and his daughter at Billy's Bakery. They were loaded down and looked like they needed an assist. And he said, "Well aren't you sweet. Thank you and Merry Christmas." Because I held the door. That's how tough it is out there.
I'm counting everything by the way. I finally decided to be civil again to a co-worker that I literally thought I was going to strangle last week. But I put it away. I am doing my #26acts. I put a little extra in the tip jar at Firehouse Deli for those college kids working their tails off. The tip jar says something like, "For school and other dreams." I mean who puts their faith and dreams in a tip jar? Those kids at Firehouse do, so what the hell am I thinking by not believing as well. Give the dog some of that $9.99 Boar's Head sliced chicken that she loves. You bet. That counts.
I read one woman's story of leaving a gift card in her favorite snack section of the grocery store and I thought it sounded kind of silly at first. How totally random is that? But that's the idea. Because like any act of kindness we do for others, it really makes us feel better for the doing.
I meant to send this as a letter to my family because it's often the ones closest to us who don't receive our acts of kindness. I wanted them to know how much I appreciate their support as I decided to transition back to being a freelancer. I'm out here on a limb and they keep saying, "No go further. Get really out there on that limb. We will catch you if you fall."
Now how kind is that? After all these years and all the times I haven't been kind, they'll catch me if I fall. I hope my family reads this. I hope others do too. I want to spread the good will I feel doing my #26acts.
#26acts peeps. Give it a try. Merry Christmas to all! Love, Beck