Random Acts of Kindness

By Emily Thomas
Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts for 2012

For those of you that may not know, February was random acts of kindness month.  I’m part of the honors program at my school and as a group we decided to spread some random kindness around campus. We raised money for charity, gave away free candy, and posted “take a free compliment” flyers around campus with cut-out compliments on the bottom for people to rip off. The little things we did were fun and helped promote the atmosphere that we wanted, but my favorite thing that we did was the clothespin-kindness act.

The idea behind the clothespin-kindness act was to take clothespins that say things like “have a great day!” and “you have a great smile!” and pin them on strangers. The key is to be sneaky about it so they don’t know you are pinning it on them. That way when they find the clothespin later on, they won’t know who pinned it on them and will receive a random act of kindness. My friends and I from the honors program found this task a lot harder than we thought, especially the being sneaky part. The results of our pin-the-compliment-on-a-stranger adventures, however, made us feel like we had succeeded in spreading the kindness around campus.

The first day of pinning, we saw our results all over facebook, twitter, and instagram. Under the hashtag #randomactsofkindness, we found people from all over Merrimack posting pictures of the clothespins they found on their bag or jacket and how it made their day.  One of my favorite quotes and philosophies is by Rachel Joy Scott, who said:

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

So spread a little kindness today. It may go a lot farther than you think. 
Emily Thomas is a college freshman at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts majoring in Chemistry and Secondary Education. Originally from Bridgewater, Massachusetts, Emily was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Massachusetts for 2012. Learn more about Emily here!

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