Today Is Painfully Random Nice Act Day.

Over the past three years we’ve talked about doing nice things for strangers on this blog. I say “we” not in the royal sense, but because many of you have privately, or in the comments, let me know that you do random acts of kindness as well. So, today is that day.

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My motivation is simple: I want you to feel as good today as I did a couple of times this past week. The acts themselves are not relevant. Nor, for the most part, are they significant in the big scheme of things. Basic acts that confirm the human dignity of others. I also had my moments of not nice acts dealing with others – but when you block my driveway at 2220 after checking my neighbor’s garage to see if it’s unlocked, you’re pretty lucky to walk away. No gift card for you! (I’m pretty sure the Saint Paul Police didn’t give them a gift card, either, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to the officers before they roared off.)

So, the challenge is out there: do something nice for a stranger today. Better yet, do something nice for someone you know but aren’t comfortable around. Not the guy known as “Chester the molester” on your block, but the older woman who isn’t very nice when you see her on the sidewalk. The coworker who annoys you beyond the ability of blood-pressure medication to heal is another good candidate. The member of your softball team who drinks the last beer every week. All of these people might just benefit from your doing something nice.

Not good with that concept, eh? How about putting a gift card for McDonalds into a greeting card and giving it to a homeless person? Or, paying for the car behind you at the Arby’s? Better yet, if you have the means to do so, how about picking a random person at the checkout for the grocery store and paying for their groceries?

All of these things will be fun. All of them will brighten another’s day. All of them are what Jesus would do if he were in the 21st Century. You can be his hands and feet.

Get cracking – the day’s not getting any younger.

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