Random Acts of Kindness: That phrase is an oxymoron!

So it drives me crazy when I hear folks speak of performing a “random act of kindness”!!  They do not understand the nature of random, and the nature of kindness.

Oh, I know what they mean to say…they are advocating the being kind to anyone you meet with no thought of gain or profit to yourself.  A great sentiment and I affirm it, and aspire to it as well!

BUT:  if it is “random”, then why does their need to be an exhortation to do it?  Does not the exhortation itself, if heard, processed, received and acted upon obliterate randomness?  Randomness is mindless, complete and utter chance happening regardless of if there is a consciousness aware of it and witness…or not.

I submit it is impossible for a human being to do anything random, ever.  I think that our very humanness eliminates “random” from possibility.  Now, things can happen to us in a way that is, if not random, at least very close to it…but what we do about it, how we receive them, or react to them, all that involves choice.

And here is another thing…why is there even a need to exhort one another to be kind in the first place?  I think it is because it is not the natural thing for us to be inherently kind.  In fact, it is in many ways unusual, or we wouldn’t feel so great when someone is kind to us.

Kindness:  it is a conscious choice to treat someone in a way that is higher, better, more loving…it is noble, and thus rare and admired when it is seen or experienced.  Nothing.  Random.  About.  It.

Let me add my exhortation…love everyone whom you are privileged to meet…treat them better than yourself, and prefer them and their needs to your own.  Do not just love those who love you, or be kind to those who are kind to you…anyone can do that.  But aspire to be kind to the stranger, the alien and fatherless, the widow and those who mourn.

True Kindness is measured by what you do for the ones you have absolutely no chance to benefit from in return.

No get out there and…

BE.

KIND!

Love, Charissa

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2 thoughts on “Random Acts of Kindness: That phrase is an oxymoron!

  1. I’ll leave my longer comment on this post, Charissa. I do understand your issue with the term random and agree with your sentiment that we should all just be kind, but I meet people who question the “random” part of what I try to do daily all of the time. So I will say to you what I say to those people: define random. If I understand correctly, you feel that nothing that happens to human beings is random and I accept that because I feel that everything that happens to us in life happens for a reason. BUT, I would define the people who find the “You look amazing” post-it on the public washroom mirror as random. I would describe the piece of garbage (not my own) that just happened to miss the can as random. I would describe the parking meter that I just happen to walk by that is just about to expire as random. I would describe the fact that I adore the rainbow sweater that the librarian wears at my university and the opportunity I got to compliment her on it the first time she wore it as random. Maybe they’re all just Acts of Kindness, but I think of them as Random 🙂

    • Thank you very much for your thoughtful and insightful comments…I get where you are coming from. My point of view is driven by the deep awareness of intentionality and how that affects my choices in living.

      I am certain that we are of the same mind and heart and intentionality, and it is risky for me when I post my thoughts as it is so easy for things to become semantical divides and thus unnecessary.

      I would simply say that from my seat at our campfire, each one of your examples shows a generous and broad…but intentional and chosen…action, and thus contrasts with randomness…that randomness that strikes with cancer on a child, or that randomness that strikes the brake lines of a bus that then careens to disaster and drags souls with it…

      See, I think it puts the choices and actions of people in the midst of a random world in highlight and stark relief against these truly senseless tragedies and this is what exalts us as offspring of divinity.

      BUT: having said that, I will never separate from you over it…our magnetic hearts to serving and loving draw us together in a unity of greater importance, and Wisdom positions us at slightly different “o’clocks” round Her fire so the circle will be unbroken…

      with much love and true joy that you care enough to interact with me and with our world…

      Kind on, my friend…Kind on! And me at your side there too…

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