Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Guerrilla Warfare ~ Kindness Style

As the jack-o-lanterns disappear, turkeys and cornucopias slowly take their place. Thanksgiving is just around the corner with Christmas right behind. For many it is a time of love and celebration, but there are also a whole lot of people that dread this time of year because they feel alone, unloved, and depressed. Even more feel stressed and stretched with all the busyness of the season.

While you're giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, try to take some time to give someone else something to be thankful for.

About a month ago, I was privileged to hear a woman speak who really reminded me that the ultimate in selfless giving is an act of kindness given with no expectation of anything in return. During a season of giving, that can be very difficult. I know I always have a generic gift or two under the tree in case someone shows up at my house with an unexpected present.

This woman, known on the internet as The Kindness Girl, has made it a main and vital part of her life to spread kindness in other people's lives in such a way that they can't pay it back, so all they can do is sit back and be loved. It's been called Random Acts of Kindness, Paying It Forward, and countless other things, but the idea remains the same. I like how Kindness Girl phrases it - Guerrilla Goodness.

Guerrilla warfare is a form of combat where small groups of combatants ambush their adversaries, catching them off guard and then disappearing as quickly as they came, leaving devastation in their wake.

Guerrilla Goodness follows the same philosophy - Pop up, spread some love, then run away leaving only the love behind, without any guilt or stress to return the favor. It's good for you, too. Because when you are engaging your brain in finding ways to be kind, you aren't focusing on the bad things. You'll start seeing others with gentler eyes, looking for ways to slip them a smile and remain anonymous.

Love the idea but need some ideas? Try one of these:

Ding Dong Ditch Your Neighbors

We did this with our kids recently. They. Loved. It. This works the same as the childhood prank except that you leave a small gift behind before you ring the bell and run for your life. You can see examples and videos at GuerrillaGoodness.com.

Deliver Cookies to Civil Servants

Police Station, Brunswick, GA, via Wikimedia Commons
This one is a little bit different because you'll actually be seen, but they won't know who you are. Stop by a fire or police station with a platter full of baked goodies. I absolutely love doing this because they are always so appreciative of the gesture.

In my experience, police stations are a little harder to deliver to than fire stations are, but it just depends on how the ones in your area are set up. If you have small children with you and they aren't busy, the fire stations will frequently give you a tour and let the kids see the fire engines. They don't always have time for this so don't be bummed if they just thank you and let you leave.

Mow a Lawn / Rake Some Leaves / Shovel a Sidewalk

The actual act may vary depending on where you live, but the gesture of anonymous yard work is always a good one. It can be a bit difficult to pull off - after all anyone who drives by will see you - but the act is huge. If you really want to be sneaky, do theirs but wait a day or two before doing your own. Then they'll never suspect you, assuming someone did it while they were doing their own.

Pay it Backward

This is really popular right now. When you're sitting at the drive thru, pay for the person behind you. Our McDonalds use the dual window system, so you would get totally caught doing it at one of those drive thrus, but there are still plenty of places where you could be on the road before the person behind you knows what you did.

Looking for more ways? Check out GuerrillaGoodness.com for loads of other ideas for spreading kindness around your life. She even has a Family Kindness Kit that you can download to start the kindness ball rolling right within your own family.

Have you had an experience giving or receiving an anonymous gift of love? What did you do or how did it make you feel?

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