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Welcome Wednesday: Random Acts of Kindness!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I went to Costco the other day and on my way out, after I loaded everything into my car, a gentleman came up and asked if I wanted him to take my cart for me. Expecting that he was simply being kind and taking it off my hands because he was going to use it for his own shopping, I happily surrendered it. I then saw him return it to the corral and continue into the store. I was washed over by warm fuzzies for the fact that he did something nice for me without benefitting from it or expecting anything from me in return.

I was reminded good you can make others feel by simply performing random acts of kindness. This week I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to share stories about random acts of kindness that have been shown to you. Let me know in the comments below.

Additionally, we are in the final week of Likes for Trees. I want to help us finish strong and I’m willing to sweeten the pot a little bit in the process. Many of you know that outside of work and the Atlassian Community, I’m a participant of Extra Life, a charity organization that support Children’s Hospitals. I have an active campaign for 2023 and for every (1) like on this discussion (up to 100 likes) I’ll donate $1 towards my campaign. But, that’s not all! If we can get to 100+ likes, I’ll double the donation to $200 USD!

Have a great rest of the week!

19 comments

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John Funk
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July 26, 2023

Great post Jimmy! There is definitely not enough kindness in the world. And anytime we can receive it or give it away, that's fantastic thing. 

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Ananjan_miniOrange July 26, 2023

@Jimmy Seddon Your incredible kindness is definitely going to affect countless lives and make the world a brighter place. Thank you for your generous heart✌️

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Andy Gladstone
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July 26, 2023

It's not so random anymore, but the valet at the CitiBike dock near my office exchange greetings every afternoon when I am getting ready to undock a bike and head to the train station. (Not every CitiBike dock in NYC has a valet, but the one near my office is a high volume location so they station someone there to make sure there are open docks for people arriving with a CitiBike). I try to be friendly because a) really we should always be kind and b) some of the people that come by don't show any appreciation.  So we talk for a minute each day and then part ways. 

Now, there are (3) types of bikes in the CitiBike fleet - the standard bike, an eBike and a 2nd Gen eBike. While I pride myself on my cycling prowess, on the really hot days in NYC I take an eBike so those sitting around me on the train don't need to suffer a sweaty man sitting near them. The valet has picked up on this preference, and when he sees me coming out of the building he always makes sure there is a 2nd Gen eBike available for me on the hot days. Without me ever telling him, he has picked up on my preference and goes out of his way to accommodate me. 

Often random acts of kindness may not be so random. Being kind is intentional, sometimes it just lands on random targets.

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Duane Harlick July 26, 2023

Here's a fun one for you: 

A while back, while scrolling my FB feed, I caught a post by a name I recognized from a long time ago during my college days. He mentioned he needed an early AM ride home from the airport as he was arriving on the "red eye" from San Francisco. "Why not?" I thought...  So, I responded "sure", though I barely knew him back then and hadn't seen him in 20+ years. 

My wife was obviously puzzled when I got up at 4:30am the next morning and explained what I was doing.. .LOL...  That aside, I grabbed him at the airport and as we started driving, he explained that he was out of town doing consulting work as he had been laid off recently and had struggled to find employment. As we talked, I learned more about what he had been doing in life and where his career had taken him, etc., and noted that we basically did similar work.  As fate would have it, I had been interviewing with a local company (for a change of scenery, mostly) and had been offered a position, although I had not responded yet.  I dropped my friend at his home and we exchanged phone numbers to keep in touch, and I asked him to send me his resume.

The next day, I contacted the company that had offered me the new position and declined their offer. However, I mentioned that I had a good friend who was in the market and would like to send over his resume. 

He got the job.

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Amanda Barber
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July 26, 2023

My most memorable RAK was a few years ago. We were down in Florida for spring break and it was our last day. My daughters and I ran to Target for a few items for the drive back (snacks, a few small play items, etc.) and there was an older couple in front of us at checkout. They paid for our items. I was so shocked and grateful. The couple acted like it wasn't much, but just so unexpected and we were just delighted. We paid it forward during our drive home by leaving a larger tip for our server at a restaurant, and paying for another car's Starbucks order.

When a childhood friend passed away 2 years ago, I set up a RAKathon of sorts. It was so nice to see so many people do random acts of kindness in her name. 💜

I'm also running a fall half marathon this year for a foundation here that provides RAKs in the form of financial support for cancer warriors here in Milwaukee, WI. 💜 https://www.thistimetomorrow.org/amandabarber

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Marjorie
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July 26, 2023

We try to RAK at Christmas. Instead of getting presents between my husband and I we go out and purchase gift cards at the local grocery store and give them out. You never know the impact it has on people until you try it.

Two years in a row someone has come up and said thank you they were spending their last $50 dollars and this helped.  

We do not do it for the Thank you. We do it because we have been fortunate enough in the last few years that we can do it. 

Even if you buy a cup of coffee for someone, hold open a door, help unload something big at the store for someone.... RAK is a way to improve our world.

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Teodora V
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July 26, 2023

As @Andy Gladstone said, we should always be kind, and that is my response to everything in life, even when someone is acting rude. You never know what day this person has today, and a friendly word or gesture can always change it for good. 

I work from the comfort of my home, and like almost anyone, I have some recurring online orders (primarily for loads of nuts and tahini!). Since we have two major delivery companies, I know the delivery guys operating in my area. I have their numbers saved on my phone and when they call me, I usually go downstairs to pick up my order without making them search for a parking spot, then the building, then the apartment. A nice healthy walk for me and time saved for them.

So last week I ordered a massive metal sink for an upcoming renovation at home. I already had a plan on how I could handle it without making the delivery guy miserable while trying to fit it in the elevator.

To my surprise, he not only called me earlier to say the exact time he was arriving, but when I said to him "please call me a minute earlier and I will help you, this thing is huge!" he responded with "Are you mad, of course I will bring it up, it would be a real pleasure". 

And here it is, the little acts of kindness made a massive metal sink delivery a real pleasure 💙
I never expect something in return when I do good, but moments like this remind me why being kind is so important.

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Dave Rosenlund
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July 26, 2023

Great post, @Jimmy Seddon. I'm a huge believer in RAK and PIF (paying it forward) and practice them pretty often (but probably not as much as I should). 

One RAK in particular stands out for me.

I was in the checkout line at a grocery store when the young mother 2 spots in front if me (she had one child in the shopping cart seat for little ones and other on her hip) had her credit card declined.

She had insufficient cash and was about to leave the store without 80% of her groceries with a very forlorn look on her face. The woman in front of me, gave the cashier her credit card and asked the cashier to put the entire cart on it so the cashier could return the cash to young mother.

I was so moved by this that I paid for this kind persons groceries (although, she only had a small number of items) and thanked her for making my day.

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Summer.Hogan
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July 26, 2023

Great topic @Jimmy Seddon and thank you for your kindness! There is definitely not enough kindness in our world, especially since Covid so kudos to you for what you are doing to help make the world a better place. 

Here's my RAK story. Earlier this year I was in a Starbucks drive thru and when I pulled up to the window the lady told me that my order was paid for by the person that was in front of me. I was so taken a back by this RAK that I paid for the next 5 cars orders behind me! I went back to the store a couple of days later and the same lady that was at the drive thru window was there and told me the kindness spread that day for 36 cars past the 5 that I paid for! I was shocked! 

RAK's go a long way to make our world a better place so keep them coming! 

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Dana A July 27, 2023

A smile goes a long way, :) spread and sharing to everyone 

To walk in another man's shoes for the day may bring enlightenment.... 

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Robert Wen_ReleaseTEAM_
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July 27, 2023

Did we do it?  I think I was like #100

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Kathy Hart
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July 27, 2023

Was at a fair/carnival a while back. One of those things where you have to buy ride tickets, so you always end up with some left at the end that you can't quite use up. 

As we were walking out, there was a woman with three crying kids saying she didn't have enough tickets for them all to ride a carousel. She was telling them how many she had and how many would be needed. I handed her my tickets. Just the amount she said she needed. 

She looked so bewildered, and then happy. 

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Jimmy Seddon
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July 27, 2023

Thank you everyone!  We did it and in a little over 24 hours!  I will be making a $200 donation to Extra Life. 

For everyone that has made donations as well, Thank you so much!  Your support is very much appreciated! 

Also, for everyone that shared stories below, I have LOVED reading through these keep them coming!

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Amanda Barber
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July 27, 2023

Thank you to @Suzie Ahlers for spreading some love with a random act of kindness and a donation on my fundraiser page. 💜

Great job with this post, @Jimmy Seddon

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Trudy Claspill
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July 27, 2023

It isn't so random for me anymore, but it started as a RAK.

On my way home from ballet class on Saturdays I would see the same homeless couple on the corner every week. Each week I would give them some money (because I have been fortunate financially, and what I give them makes a difference to them without any negative impact to me).

After several weeks I decided I wanted to get to know them. So I parked my car, walked up to them, and asked their names and had an actual conversation with them. 

I learned how they became homeless, and over the months I've learned about their efforts to get affordable housing (which they did) and get their lives back on track.

To me it felt like a two-way RAK.  I got to know them, and they got to know that there are people who truly care about their well-being. We greet each other by name now, and I occasionally park my car so that I can walk up and have a real conversation with them and hear how they are doing.

 

RAKs can be small or large. I see small RAKs almost every day, from drivers delaying a turn to let other drivers onto the road, to people at the grocery store getting a cart and passing it off to the person behind them and then getting another cart for themselves. Even the small ones can brighten somebody's day.

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Sajit Nair
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July 27, 2023

Awesome job Jimmy..
A helpful 'you've got this' at the gym or just helping someone pickup their groceries or offering medicines while on a travel/in a plane to someone who visibly does not feel well ..
is a recent contribution I can think of.
:) 

Screenshot 2023-07-28 at 11.02.27 AM.png

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Mark Holmes (Adaptavist) August 1, 2023

There is something powerful in that act.

Though he did not need the cart, there is also a benefit to that individual. First, the awareness beyond himself was likely enabled at a time he perhaps first overcame the rush or hesitancy to practice a kind act, and chose to in spite of it.

As we each may relate, acting kindly, especially overcoming a human instinct to the contrary (e.g. I'm in a hurry or whatever) unlocks our empathy and awareness, enabling it to integrate further into our nature.

Keep at it!

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ABR May 1, 2024

Hi, @Jimmy Seddon ,

I've only joined this community recently but I feel very proud and happy to be a part of this community of like-minded souls who care so much for others!

I would like to reminisce about a RAK I received years ago, we were taking a family trip in Gangtok, Sikkim (India). A place of heavenly beauty and warm-hearted smiles wherever you went! One night, my baby daughter was hungry and crying. She was only three then and had an allergic condition due to which she hadn't eaten anything and we didn't know what to do. Then I went to the reception to see if I could find some food for her. I found two young boys sleeping in the reception area and very reluctantly woke them up. On hearing my plight, they immediately took action. One ran towards the kitchen and the other took me to the in-house doctor. The doctor came immediately with his bag, and by the time we reached our room, the other boy came with a glass of warm haldi-doodh (turmeric milk) and cookies. The doctor checked my baby and gave her an injection and asked her to take the milk and cookies. He sat there talking to her sweetly, she soon finished her milk and cookies and thanked everybody, falling asleep with a sweet smile on her lips!

Next morning we were checking out and received our bills and I noticed they hadn't charged us for the yesterday's milk and cookies or the doctor's services - on enquiry, the manager with a smile explained that the milk was on the house and the cookies were from the boy's personal stash made by his mom! The injection was normally chargeable, although doctor's service wasn't, but the doctor refused to charge - saying my baby reminded him of his own daughter who lived out of station! They all came to see my baby off and she insisted on giving them the chocolates we had bought for her friends back home! She said these people were her friends too, my wise little one!

Till date I have kept in touch with all those people and we have become firm friends! Kindness binds in bonds of respect and friendship!

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Jimmy Seddon
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May 1, 2024

@ABR that is a very touching and wonderful story 💙 

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