Random acts of kindness

November 14, 2011

Have you seen the movie Amélie? It was one of my favorite movies in college — it’s a foreign film with subtitles, but so simple and beautiful.

There is a scene in it where Amélie (the main character) discovers an old toy box hidden behind some broken tiles in her apartment bathroom. The tin box was full of a young boy’s treasures: marbles and toy cars and all sorts of childlike whimsies. And so, she becomes determined to find the boy (now man) that hid the “time capsule” of toys decades ago — and return it to him, anonymously.

And so goes the story: he finds it, he is overwhelmed with nostalgic joy, she is touched by the simple act of doing a good deed and decides that she wants to become a “regular do-gooder.” The rest of the movie is her doing random acts of kindness anonymously for other people and at the end, she rides off into the sunset with her hipster boyfriend on a little French moped.

And so, when I hear the phrase “Random Act of Kindness,” I sometimes think of the quirky Amélie — but I also think of this beautiful blog post that I read several weeks ago that has inspired me to do a little family project this year. You must check it out, but basically, the writer and her family do one good deed each day of Advent. The deed could be big or small — leaving a free cup of coffee on a friend’s desk, taping a quarter to a gumball machine, or paying for the car behind you in the drive thru line.

Then she left these little notes along with the deed:

Cute idea, huh?

Perhaps you don’t need the cute notes, but looking for small ways to go out of your way for someone is a good habit every day — and something that I want to do more purposefully. I’m looking forward to family traditions like this around the holidays for years to come.

“The best portion of a good man’s life are his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” – William Wordsworth

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky November 14, 2011 at 10:33 pm

I’m loving this – maybe I’ll give it a try too :)

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Lauren November 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Miss you, Beck!

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tracie @ {tsj} photography November 15, 2011 at 4:51 am

hello! thanks for mentioning our advent project! i love knowing people are being inspired by it! think of the revolution! :) be blessed & have fun!

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Lauren November 15, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Tracie, it was a wonderful idea! My husband and I started making our list tonight :)

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Stephanie November 15, 2011 at 6:55 am

I love this idea! This is such a great way to teach the kids such a valuable lesson.

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mothering spirit November 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

I, too, loved Amelie and haven’t thought about that scene in ages. What a beautiful, simple way to bring others joy. I’m going to check out this idea for Advent too – sounds wonderful!

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Adrienne November 16, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Great idea for Advent and anytime of the year really. I especially like the idea to leave a note that shares the message of God’s love as the reason for the act of kindness. Thank you for sharing!

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Mary November 17, 2011 at 9:34 am

Great idea. I just recently found your blog and I really enjoy it. Thanks!

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Em November 21, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Love this and may try it this year! Thanks for sharing.

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