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