National Random Acts of Kindness Day!

Random Acts of Kindness Banner

Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year.  It is celebrated by individuals, groups, and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness.

I believe we can all agree random acts of kindness are always a good thing, but society could really use a few right about now. Let’s get to it!

The phrase “practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” was written by Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982. It was based on the phrase “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty”. Herbert’s book Random Acts of Kindness was published in February 1993 speaking about true stories of acts of kindness.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) was founded in 1995 in the USA. It is a nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

However, launched in 2004, New Zealand was the first country in the world to have a Random Acts of Kindness Day!

New Zealand’s RAK Day started after co-founder Josh de Jong was stuck in Auckland traffic one typical afternoon and watched some irate drivers ahead of him getting into a bit of a road rage altercation. He began to think… ‘what would it be like if on one day everyone in New Zealand was kind to a stranger?’ Thus the national day was born and quickly spread around the world.

A simple online search of ‘random acts of kindness’ yields a return of thousands of related items, not the least of which is dozens of groups and organizations created to spread kindness.

The cynic in me could say how sad it is we need groups to motivate us to be kind to each other. But, my optimistic side applauds them for leading by example.

I hope the day is celebrated with millions of acts of random kindness, but I also hope we don’t wait for February 17th or some random group to recruit to us. It doesn’t take much to show kindness. Hate takes effort and forethought, and energy to sustain it. Kindness is natural when you treat others the way you wish to be treated.

A few ideas for random acts of kindness could include:

  • Pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line
  • Buy extra at the grocery store and donate it to a food pantry
  • Buy flowers for someone (postal worker, grocery store clerk, bus driver, etc.)
  • Help someone change a flat tire
  • Post anonymous sticky notes with validating or uplifting messages around for people to find
  • Compliment a work colleague on their work
  • Send an encouraging text to someone
  • Take muffins to work
  • Let a car into the traffic ahead of you
  • Wash someone else’s car
  • Take a gift to new neighbors and introduce yourself
  • Pay the bus fare for the passenger behind you

Showing kindness to someone else makes them AND you feel good – so enjoy your day…and feel good!

No Random Act

When Reality Checks In!

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I’ve mentioned my grandnephew, Jordan – the tiny-two-year-old-terror, in many of my social network posts. The posts are usually funny, the photos are cute, and Jordan loves seeing himself posted everywhere.

We had a Jordan-situation Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, that wasn’t funny or cute.

After a great family Thanksgiving, Jordan stayed the night with us as his grandmother (my sis, Melissa) had to work Friday. In typical Reevers family holiday fashion, we fell asleep everywhere. (This family does not understand the concept of “going to bed”.) Jordan and my youngest son, Drew – 26, were asleep on the sofa in the family room.

We were awakened at 4:30 in the morning by a fussy Jordan with a dirty diaper. Drew said Jordan “appeared” to have a seizure when he was waking up. I didn’t doubt Drew, and Jordan’s temperature was up. But, after getting cleaned up and drinking some cool apple juice, Jordan went back to sleep, as did my guys. I headed off to my writing cave.

Nearly three hours later, the mister runs into the room holding Jordan. “Fle, he IS having a seizure!” He puts Jordan in my arms, and he’s stiff as a board – arms and legs straight and inflexible, his eyes have rolled to the back of his head, and he’s frothing at the mouth. I loudly call his name twice, getting no response, and “911!” is the next thing out of my mouth…several times.

While Jordan’s seizure lasted less than a minute, it seemed to go on forever. As it tapered off, he took a huge gulp of air, exhaled, and slumped in my arms, eyes closed.

Yes, THIS is when I freaked out.

Checking for his pulse and/or heartbeat, I race to the front of the house. The mister takes Jordan from me in the living room, and tries to get me to sit down. Instead, I snap, “Where the hell are the paramedics?” – only to turn around and see them walking in my door! (FIVE MINUTES! It took them only five minutes to get there!)

In the SECONDS it took the medical team to sit down their gear and ascertain the situation, Jordan, the tiny-two-year-old-terror, who’s already had two seizures before 8 am is SNORING!!! The mister and I gave each other, “Did we dream this?” looks, and handed him over to the paramedics. After checking Jordan out physically and taking his vital signs, we were told he more than likely had a febrile seizure, brought on by the sudden spike in his body temperature, and such seizures are COMMON. However, the cause of the temperature needed to be found. The med team assured us his sleeping was also normal because the seizures are very exacting on the body, and he was probably extremely fatigued. They offered to take him in, but felt the ‘urgency’ of the situation was past for the time being. It was then I realized I had nothing authorizing me to get medical attention for Jordan. (DUH!)  So instead, the family hopped in the car and headed for Melissa’s apartment, fifteen miles across town.

After scooping her up, it was a mad dash to the emergency room for the fastest, most efficient ER visit I’ve ever witnessed. (Getting Jordan’s prescriptions filled at Walgreen’s actually took longer.)

During the ER exam, we were again told febrile seizures are COMMON in infants and toddlers, and a signal that something – usually an infection – is wrong. In Jordan’s case, he had an EAR INFECTION!  We all were speechless. Jordan had never had an ear infection before; and the day before – Thanksgiving Day – he had been his normal, rambunctious self, not fussy or tugging at his ear. Live and learn.

On a regimen of antibiotics, fever reducers and pain relievers, the-tiny-two-year-old-terror rested comfortably last night, and I could hear him during a phone call with Melissa this morning, loudly attempting to boss her around.

I’ve raised three children (with MANY ER visits), and helped raised or babysat dozens more – and I had never heard of a febrile seizure. Most of us know slight temperatures in the young ones are COMMON, and usually passes quickly, but this is just a heads-up – check and make sure the fever is going DOWN. Jordan went from “okay” to seizure in less than five hours without us suspecting a thing.

Jordan will be back with us this evening. I think my nerves are ready…again.

Many thanks, and much respect to Tucson Fire and Rescue, Tucson Medical Center and staff, and ER doctor, Brian Haggerty.

Also – if you’re going to watch someone else’s child for any period of time, even if they’re related, it wouldn’t hurt to get something in writing and notarized, giving you permission to seek medical treatment, if needed. You never know what will happen.