Character Chats

Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness

Here at True Balance Karate in Downers Grove, Illinois, we have a social-emotional learning program called True Character. I’m Master H. the owner and chief instructor here at the studio and I have two master’s degrees in education. We have developed this curriculum to best meet the needs of our youngest students who are three or four, and our oldest student who’s 85.

And this month we are talking about kindness. We started off the month by defining what kindness was, showing care and concern for those around us. Basically being aware and taking care of the things we need to take care of and the people that we need to take care of.

And then we talked about who. Who do we show kindness to? People that we know really well, like our families, people that we know somewhat well, like teachers and colleagues and bosses, and then those that are just strangers to us. The person in the drive-through line, or the person you hold the door for as you are walking into the local grocery store or the cashier at the checkout line. How do we show kindness to them?

And then lastly, we were talking about kind things and how it makes us feel, but also how it makes those around us feel. What are some of those kind things that we can do? And then how do we wind up feeling after we’ve done them? And today we’re talking about random acts of kindness. And for me, random acts of kindness is not setting out or planning to do it. Not planning on being kind, but just all of a sudden you’re being kind. But on the flip side of that, a random act could be something you have chosen to do and decided to do and planned out how to do it. So it just is a matter of your perspective, and I know you’re like Master H, you just totally confuse the daylights out of me.

Let me explain. A random act of kindness could be the fact that you see somebody walking into a store, but they’re still out in the parking lot. So you choose to wait a couple extra seconds, maybe slow your steps a little bit to hold the door open for them. Random act of kindness, right? Therefore, you have chosen to be kind. You’ve put forth that idea, but it wasn’t necessarily planned so much as you saw the opportunity that presented itself and you were kind to that person. Then there are other opportunities that you can absolutely plan out. Maybe before you leave the house in the morning, you chose to pack an extra snack to share with a friend. That is now a random act of kindness that you planned out and chose what you were going to do.

For us grownups, maybe it’s a matter of the fact that we put a few extra dollars in our bags and we knew we were planning on paying for the person in the drive-through line, or we knew we were going to buy coffee for our colleagues at work. That could be another planned out random act of kindness. So there’s two ways of looking at it. Watching for those opportunities that present themselves is one way of seeing those random acts of kindness, or by actually thinking through, how can I choose to be kind today? What kind thing can I do? And so finding those moments is basically about practicing your awareness.

Your awareness for the world around you, your awareness for what people need. What are they going through? Because we don’t know who’s having a good day or a bad day. We can’t always tell because some people are always smiling and they look like they’re having a fine day, but inside they just got the worst news ever and they could really use somebody who’s being kind to them. They could really use a friend, a smile, someone to just give them a pat on the back and tell them that it’s okay.

And as I was saying that, I was reminded of a time that one of my kids was throwing a temper tantrum as we were walking through the store. And there were a few people walking around that store that were giving me looks of, can’t you control your kid? But then one of the women that was walking around patted me on the back and said, “You got this. Just keep going. It’s okay.” And that was a random act of kindness that I really needed at that moment in time because my daughter had just been throwing a temper tantrum for the last 30 minutes as I was trying to finish my grocery shopping.

So we never know. Sometimes it’s obvious like a temper tantrum. Other times it’s not. And so recognizing that gives us the opportunity to continue to give random acts of kindness. And as we’re talking about kindness, as we wrap it up, I just want you to remember as you’re practicing that awareness for the world around us, it’s the people, but it’s also the places. It’s also ourselves. What act of kindness can we give to ourselves? What can we do within the space that we live that would be kind? Maybe picking up or cleaning out a closet would be a kind thing for us, because then it’s not as messy or whatever that might be. But practicing that awareness, what random acts of kindness can you continue to do?

Not just this month, but for the rest of the year because kindness is something that should be shared. It should be spread all around so that we all have that positive attitude going forward.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here. True Balance Karate is at 406 Ogden Ave Downers Grove Illinois, 60515 (next to CVS)

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