“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Scott Adams 

This makes me think of the movies “Pay it Forward,” and “Evan Almighty,” which happens to be two of my top 200 movies of all time. I know you may be thinking 200 is an odd number to have, but it is what makes the most logical sense. “Pay it Forward” is great, because it shows the ripple effect over this one boys acts of kindness. It amazed me how many lives were changed over those three little actions. “Evan Almighty’s” primary message, is how we can all change the world with one act of random kindness at a time.  These movies made me think of what role I play in acts of kindness; besides “The Bucket List Foundation” I do very little to better my fellow man. I write about how greed keeps us from thinking about the needs of others in our society. I do not consider myself a greedy man, but I wonder why I do not practice what I preach.

I think one of the reasons for this, is I have not been in a position to really execute these acts of kindness. I am aware, that what I am in a position to do is acts of kindness towards my family, but I even find myself having trouble with this. My doctor says this can be attributed to my Anti-Social Personality Disorder. I actually had an opportunity to display an act of kindness, but I passed on the situation.

I went to get our morning coffee, and there was this younger gentleman with a makeshift duffle bag made from a bed sheet tied on all four sides. He said he needed a ride to Mystic Lake Casino, so he could catch a bus into downtown Minneapolis. He said he only had ten dollars on him, which wasn’t enough for the cab fare. He went on to say he had a pretty bad fight with his girlfriend, and he had to quickly get out of the house before there was a domestic violence issue. I honestly told him I just didn’t feel comfortable giving a ride to someone I didn’t know.

As I was preparing my coffee I kept thinking to myself that I should give him a ride to help him out, but then my other side was telling me this was a bad idea, because he could take my car and rob me, or possibly worse. I think this is a key reason why people hesitate to help out those in need. It saddens me to say but the society we live in today is violent, and void of morals. You really cannot tell who you can trust and who you can’t. I think because of this people are hesitant to do the right thing. It would have been so easy for me to do this guy a solid, but this voice in my head was telling me he can’t be trusted.

What interests me the most is the ripple effect random acts of kindness can have. It is amazing to me how the smallest things have such dramatic effects way beyond what we even realize. This makes me think of the butterfly effect, and how the most minor trivial changes can drastically change the future as we know it. It would be amazing to do a social study on what would happen if every citizen made it a priority to do one act of random kindness a day. Would this mass ripple effect alter the outcome of the human race? How much would our society be altered if we all made this a priority?

I want to do my part and better society and my fellow man, but I am at a loss for how to do it. I suppose this can be done through my foundation, or I can start looking for the smaller things. I believe the message in “Evan Almighty” was focused on how the main characters acts altered his family. Evan was so focused on his work that he neglected his family. In the end his journey was one of creating a stronger family unit. I stated earlier, how I am in a position to give these acts of kindness to my family. I think this is a great start, and in reality should be my top priority over anything else. I would imagine these acts towards my family would have a massive ripple effect, even more so than giving that guy a ride.

Now that I think about it, I do perform random acts of kindness, anytime I am on the floor in the nursing home. I go out of my way to interact with the residents here, and I always leave them with a smile on their face. I know I leave them with a feeling that they are valued. You would be amazed at how this vital human need is lacking in our nursing homes. I can do my part everyday I come to work, and in all my interactions throughout the day. I can do my part by strengthening my family unit, and by nurturing an environment built on unconditional love. Maybe this is the simplest way to change our world.    

God asks Evan “How do we change the world.” Evan answers “one single act of random kindness at a time.”

 Evan Almighty

  1. terri0729 says:

    Fabulous! Loved every word and thought of it. I did a similar post on smiling at someone because of a tweet I read about how a man had committed suicide and when the police went to his flat, they found a note saying, “If someone smiles at me on the bridge today, I won’t jump.” Just one simple act of kindness could have saved his life but, obviously, no one did it. Blessings, Teresa

  2. I think you’re making this far more complicated than it is. If you treat others with justice, respect, kindness and love, you will be paying it forward tenfold.

    As to the young man who asked for a ride, I probably wouldn’t have provided a ride either, but I might have. Each situation is different and we each make judgment calls everyday.

    If I had felt uncomfortable with providing a ride, I might have donated some money so he could afford the cab fare or I may have purchased something for him to eat because I bet he was hungry.

    Hopefully, when you turned down his request, you did so in a kind way. Your demeanor still could make his day.

    • Trey,

      I meant to say welcome back the last time you commented. I was nice to the guy, and said I didnt feel comfortable with his proposition. As always you simplify my message. I have a habit of making things complicated

      • Tim,
        You can’t welcome me back because I haven’t gone anyplace. I merely didn’t comment on the last post or two. I didn’t have anything meaningful to write, so I didn’t. 🙂

    • Lydia says:

      I agree with Trey.

      I also believe in listening when we have a bad feeling about someone. You did the right thing.

  3. Rachael says:

    I really liked your post, but I got caught up by your statement about living in a violent society. I often ask myself two questions about this: If society is really as violent as how the media potrays violence? Is it more violent now than it has been in the past? Statistics have shown that violence has dropped since the 90’s, there are many theories as to why that is, but I really like the take Freakenomics had in their documentary, which is too controversial for this comment (but definately check it out).
    Anyways, I try to go with my gut on that kind of stuff. I liked the option about giving that guy a couple bucks to catch a cab; people are less likely to carry money around now.

    • Rachael,

      Welcome to the community. I read the book Freakenomics a few years back, but can’t recall a section on violence. Nothing is too controversial for this site. I write posts like that all the time. I think even if violence has gone down since the 90’s we still live in a violent or even a society which has declining morals. I am only 31 years old and I can remember as a child running all over the place sometimes miles away from our houses. I would never allow my children to do such things now. I may be a cynic, but I have very little faith in the human race.

  4. brendamarroy says:

    Good post Tim. I’ve thought often that the world would be a better place to live if we all treated each other with kindness and respect.

  5. Erika says:

    I’m happy for you, for you have realized such a wondeful thing. I pray that you will always do what is right and do not forget God, who loves you very much. Pray always. God bless you!

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