29) Do a Random Act of Kindness

When I created the goal of spending a night alone in the wilderness, I knew I would be able to plan for it, and I knew it would be obvious when I had accomplished it. I only had to work up the courage to execute it, and maybe learn how to build a fire beforehand. (I did not do the latter, but fortunately I figured out the technique when I was out there—or at least lucked into getting a blaze going).

Likewise, going one month without Facebook, serving at a food kitchen, and driving to Mexico were all easily-definable goals, and I could specifically ascertain when each had been achieved.

How, though, could I make it a goal to do something random? By making it a goal—at least the way I make goals, which is to devise a plan to properly execute and achieve them—doesn’t that remove the element of randomness? Furthermore, I (now) believe doing a random act of kindness shouldn’t even be a goal on a list as much as it should simply be a common thing people do in their daily lives.

And yet, I had made it a goal. I obviously felt I had been lacking in doing kind things on a whim, which, in my opinion, does not include tasks I believe should be automatic like holding doors open for others. I had to clearly make it a goal to do something I should have been doing for years. I have learned a great deal since I started this project nearly a year ago, evidenced in part in the letter I wrote to my future self, and doing nice things just to be nice was one of them. Though I may be somewhat dismayed that it took me nearly thirty years to figure it out, to use a trite saying: better late than never.

My random act of kindness itself is hardly worth mentioning, as my intentions for creating the goal were not so I could then relate what generosity and kindness I bestowed on an unsuspecting person, but I will say that I accomplished it. And I was surprised when it occurred, which I suppose is exactly what I was going for. I hope to perform many more random acts of kindness in the coming years, and months, and days, and continue to be pleasantly surprised by achieving things for which I did not plan.

*For those curious readers, I will divulge that the act involved pro bono freelance work.


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