It’s quite appropriate that this week would be RAK Week (Feb 14th – Feb 20th), Random Acts of Kindness Week, as it commences on the most affectionate of holidays. Love and heart shaped confetti are on boastful display everywhere, while emotions and sentiments are flying high. Many anticipated a surprise from their special someone. Others, like myself, sat on the sidelines admiring the festivities, trying the hardest to be the least of envious. Then I thought to myself, instead of watching everything happen, why I don’t take this opportunity to jump in the action and good stuff. Because you don’t necessarily have to have a Valentine to do something nice for someone. And it doesn’t require a special week for the dedication of exceptional virtue.
Too many happy moments escape us if we always expect good things to come to us. I’d rather be the one to initiate. So here are a few Random Acts of Kindness I’ve compiled for us to do this week for a cancer patient. And even if you don’t have much, don’t worry. We encourage you to get creative here so that you can give your best. It’s the thought that counts.
Donate an item of need. Although cancer patients may not always be so vocal about it, they have many needs. Sure you could always donate money, but that just doesn’t seem as personal. Here are some suggestions:
* Chemotheraphy Care Package
* CanPlan Cancer Planner
* Inspirational Books
* Juicing Starter Kit
- Get a group together to help with funding. This was one of the kindest, most touching actions you could perform for a patient. It shows you care not only about their physical health, but also about their additional life problems brought on by cancer. Chances are, unless they are an elderly patient, it’s costing them literally arm and leg at $50,000 per round of treatment.
- Send flowers to a random patient at a hospital. Google or Yelp the nearest flower shop and hospital to set up the order and delivery. Write in the note something simple and sweet, like “Just because it’s Wednesday.” If you want to make it more personable, and if you have the luxury of time, you could hand deliver the flowers and the note to the front desk check-in.
- Send a letter of encouragement as well. The art of writing is compelling, as is reading a handwritten letter. It’s almost like you can feel the other person. A letter from someone you know means a lot, but a sincere letter from someone that doesn’t even know you may mean even more. And the best thing about a letter is, you can save it to read again and again.
- Tweet 10 random patients each a meaningful compliment. This is super easy whether you already know how to Twitter or not. Ask a patient how they are recovering from their last treatment. Compliment a family picture. Give your word of advice. Just do it in 140 characters or less 🙂
- Donate a chemo-care package. Order *here* or search online for a package from a program or care center of your choice. Chemotherapy is one of the toughest physical battles to endure. All the love you can give to a patient undergoing treatment helps to equip them for the fight.
- Read a story to a child with cancer. Instead of watching Netflix for those couple hours on Saturday, head down to your local hospital to the children’s cancer ward. When you share a moment with one of these kids, you’ll understand why you went.
- Make a love gift to give. If you don’t have much funds, it’s okay, we can each give in different, unique ways. We should give from our soul something genuine when we give. Perhaps you’re really talented with music. You could write a short sweet song with a lively beat. This would surely delight anyone! Maybe you love to cook. Share something tasty from your kitchen. Check out our recipes or handy nutritional guide for healthy suggestions.
- Run errands for a patient you know. With the chaos of cancer, a patient’s lifestyle and schedule will radically change after diagnosis. They could have to be at a treatment center half a town away every other day. Or, they may not be able to transport themselves at all. Many patients need assistance with typical everyday activities such as grocery shopping and driving. Help a patient you know run errands because you’re already acquainted with their needs and behaviors. You’re making their life that much easier for them.
- Spend a day with a patient. Whether it’s a patient you know or have just met, think about how fulfilling it would feel to give up just one of your days to spend with a patient. Step into their shoes and take a walk to understand what they have to go through everyday. See life through the eye’s of the sick. How different you will be after this, that is the challenge.
Did you know people who are kind and compassionate are usually the most successful? It’s in the numbers and science. Those who spend money on others report much greater happiness than those who spend it on themselves. Besides this, physiological benefits of kindness include a strengthened immune system, improved cognitive performance, increase in energy, lower heart rate and balanced cortisol levels which results in less internal stress. Doing good for others actually does so much good for yourself! That’s amazing!
Let’s remember this, that true kindness is innate within. It needs not to be coerced to do. Because the epitome of kindness, the act of doing good from the soul, is giving and not expecting anything in return. There won’t always be cheers or credits. And those with more should give more because there are those who have less who just can’t. In a world of drastic disparities, this is considered an acquired ethic and imperative if goodness is to prevail. The essence of love and kindness is very simple, you don’t have to dress it up in glitter and lights on a special day. All you need is to be available and ready. It takes a lot to give a lot, but it feels good in the end. When you are grateful and practicing random acts of kindness, the result is inner peace, greater consciousness, collective joy and a heart full of love. So give it all you’ve got. You have nothing to lose.