Gratitude 013: Anonymous Acts of Kindness

Today I wrote a thank you note to a friend who took an hour out of her own schedule to offer her expertise on an issue of mine. I was so grateful for her help. She put me at ease. As humans, we have a bias toward noticing the things that do NOT go our way, and the people that wrong us in our minds. Part of this project is directing my heart and mind toward things that have gone my way, and the people who have so generously offered their assistance throughout my life. When I set my mind on that, I realize how many people I have to thank. I’ve got plenty more notes to write this year!

Today’s post, however, is dedicated to those people who have helped me without my knowledge. These might have been random acts of kindness, but the ones I am thinking of today may not have been random at all. If you are the beneficiary of a random act of kindness, that often means that you know you benefited from the actions of someone else. Specifically, I am talking about acts of kindness from which I didn’t even know I benefited. For example, perhaps somebody put in a kind word with a future employer, which helped me get a job or specific project. I’ll never know I was the beneficiary of that act of kindness, so I’ll never even know to thank that person (or even who they were). Perhaps someone saw my keys or phone slip out of my jacket pocket at a restaurant and they just replaced it for me so I wouldn’t leave it behind. I’m not sure what a good example of an Anonymous Acts of Kindness from my life would even be…by definition! What I do know is that it’s very likely people throughout my life took the time and made the effort to assist me in a way that I would never be able to discern. Not only would they never be thanked, but I would never even know someone went out of their way to help! Today I’m thankful for those who performed AAKs for my benefit. Since I cannot thank them personally, the best I can do is pay it forward with some Anonymous Acts of Kindness of my own.

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