Random Acts of Kindness
Have you ever read a news story about a regular person performing an extremely good deed? From people who chip in to help a coworker buy a new car to lottery winners who share their earnings with a favorite charity, stories about people spreading their kindness and fortune are uplifting and inspiring. To share kindness and luck, however, you don’t need to win the lottery. Like Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and Sue often do throughout The Happy Hollisters series, you can brighten someone’s day with a random act of kindness!
A random act of kindness is exactly what it sounds like: a spur-of-the-moment good deed, performed without advance planning. Random acts of kindness are selfless and spontaneous. It can be something as small as giving up your seat on the bus to someone with a heavy bag. Or it might take a bit more effort, like helping a neighbor shovel their driveway after a snowstorm or delivering a homecooked meal to a friend who is struggling with an illness.
Some random acts of kindness, like paying for the person behind you at a toll booth or putting change in an expired parking meter, might mean spending a little extra pocket money. Other times, a kind act might be free, like mentioning the name of a particularly helpful cashier in your review of a local store. Acts of kindness might make the world a better place, rather than benefiting a specific person. Planting a tree, picking up litter, or volunteering at an animal shelter are a few great ways to spread kindness in your community while doing something that benefits everyone in the long run.
In The Happy Hollisters series, the Hollister kids often spread kindness, both in large and small ways! Pam helps an injured fawn in The Happy Hollisters at Snowflake Camp and is quick to offer her babysitting services to an unemployed single mother in The Happy Hollisters and the Merry-Go-Round Mystery. Ricky and Pete frequently offer to help their father at his store, and the whole family chips in to start a toy library in The Happy Hollisters and the Monster Mystery, making sure that all kids in Shoreham have something fun to play with. In The Happy Hollisters and the Punch and Judy Mystery, they even put on a puppet show to collect money to send other children to summer camp. Throughout the books, the Hollisters show the importance of spreading kindness and learn how even the simplest act can put a big smile on someone’s face.
The next time you have some extra change in your cupholder, a free afternoon that could be spent volunteering, or a spontaneous chance to help someone in need, follow the lead of The Happy Hollisters and try out a random act of kindness. You never know how much it could help someone—or how they’ll pay that random kindness back to you in the future!
by Libby Svenson Kennedy
Research notes, Andrew Svenson Archives of The Hollister Family Properties Trust